There are at least two kinds of eaters in the world--those that have dessert every night and those that don't. We're the latter sort, with the great exception of Company. Company for dinner, that is. My grandmother made dessert for her ten children every night. To this day, my dad instinctively hunts around for a bit of chocolate when dinner's over.
Friends will be here tomorrow night, so I spent some time poring through my new Gourmet cookbook (the light green one for $21.95 at Costco that all of you should own). Wyatt sat next to me on the couch, pretending that Harry Potter wasn't way above his reading level. His M.O. is to know everything, or at least pretend like he does. Wonder where he gets that.
So I happily paged through--chocolate mousse? Poached pears? A decadent cake? Most the time, I always seem to come around to cookies. Quick, satisfying, easily packed up to send home with guests. That's another way the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My mom has always loved a good cookie. Normally, I would whiz right past something that called for a jar of dulce de leche. Who has that it in their pantry? Well, I do. A PFI purchase several months ago, lolling about on my pantry shelf, waiting for the perfect pairing.
This is it. These butter cookies, made with cornstarch and egg yolks, are so tender you'll want to cry. Some filled cookies are too brittle for their filling, cracking apart when you bite into them. Not these. Lord, they are perfect. And just the easiest little morsel any cook could hope to come by. Grandmama, these are for you. I don't know how you did it.
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Reprinted almost exactly from the new Gourmet cookbook. I used a 2" biscuit cutter, so this recipe made 20 cookies instead of the 32 promised by the recipe. If you have a smaller cookie cutter, you can get more yield. I love tiny cookies. And if you don't want to go to all this trouble for 20 cookies, double the recipe.
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
About 1/4 cup dulce de leche (available in a jar at good grocery stores)
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Whisk together cornstarch, 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then beat in egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until combined, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is sticky. (Dough should be soft.)
Form dough into a disk and roll out into an 11-inch round (1/8 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out 20-32 rounds (depending on size of cookie cutter) with cutter (reroll scraps if necessary) and transfer to sheet, arranging rounds 1/2 inch apart.
Bake until firm and pale golden around edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool 10 minutes.
Sandwich cookies with about 1/2 teaspoon dulce de leche. Dust with confectioners sugar.