Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses

Cookie season is here and I couldn’t be more excited to share these Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses!! To celebrate, I’ve partnered up with Amisha Gurbani (@thejamlab / TheJamLab.co) for 12 Days of Sweet Treats. Starting now through December 12th we’ll be sharing lots of sweet treats that are perfect for gifting (and eating!!) throughout December (and always?). We’ll be sharing everything from classic drop cookies with a twist, confections (think peppermint chocolate cups and truffles) to macarons (Amisha is the master) and bar cookies; all the treats you’ll want to shove in a cookie box and ship off to friends (see this article I wrote last year on packing + gifting cookies!).

I created these Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses for the Bake From Scratch‘s 2019 holiday cookie issue, which is still on stands (get it, both Amisha and I have recipes in there!). I became OBSESSED with dulce de leche when I went to Argentina last year and if I get my act together, it’s going to show up in another recipe during our 12 Days of Treats. For this particular recipe, we make the dulce de leche from scratch (which takes time but isn’t difficult) and then we turn the cooled dulce into a buttercream that is the ultimate creamy counterpoint to these toasty, cocoa-hazelnut cookies. 

I had always wanted to make Italian Baci di Dama cookies and originally wanted them in The Cookie Book, but I ran out of time and space and so they never found a home in there. Baci di Dama are petite Italian cookie sandwiches made with ground hazelnuts. The cocoa powder in the cookie base creates that delicious hazelnut-chocolate combination I love so much. These cookies are chocolate-y, without being too sweet and they melt and crumble once bitten. I can’t wait for you to taste these cookies!

Amisha’s first cookie are these Thandai Thumbprint Cookies with Pear and Spice Jam Buttercream and they look so pretty!!! Go check ’em out!

Before We Get Started

  • MAKE AHEAD. The cookies come together quickly, however take note of the cook time for the dulce so you can plan accordingly. These can be made over several days, which makes them perfect if you’re short on time. Make the dulce de leche one day and allow to cool overnight. Next day, make the buttercream + cookies and stuff those babies!
  • DULCE DE LECHE. When making the dulce de leche, you want to see some bubbles around the edges of the pan. After 30 to 45 minutes, the color will start to deepen and the mixture will begin to thicken a bit. When this happens, it’ll be more prone to a heavy boil, which is bad, so continue adjusting the temperature as necessary and stirring more frequently. This dulce de leche deepens and thickens faster than usual because of the addition of cream, so keep an eye an it. You want the dulce de leche to have a nice, thick consistency and a bronzed and deep caramel appearance. Take note that you’re only using some of the dulce de leche, so you’ll have leftovers to drizzle over ice cream, shove between more cookies or smear over toast as we did in Mendoza. 
  • SHIPPING. I don’t know that I think these would be a good shipping cookie…the buttercream is soft (and heavenly) and might not hold up well to transport. 

Let’s make some heavenly Dulce de Leche Baci Kisses, shall we?


Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses

Makes 42 Cookie Sammies

For the Dulce De Leche

  • 1 ¾ cups (414 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup (128 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

For the Buttercream

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml/104g) dulce de leche, cooled

For the Cookie

  • 1 cup (128 g) raw hazelnuts, skinned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (136 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (28 g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (33 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Dulce De Leche Buttercream

  1. In a large saucepan whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds + pod and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, whisk in the baking soda and set a timer for 1 hour. Whenever you walk by the pot, give it a stir and adjust the temperature to keep it from boiling; you just want some bubbles around the edges of the pan. Usually between the 30-45 minute mark, the color starts to deepen and the mixture begins to thicken a bit. When this happens, it’s going to be more prone to a heavy boil (which is bad), so stick near it adjusting the temperature as necessary and stirring more frequently. It should be done anywhere between 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. This dulce deepens and thickens faster than usually because of the addition of cream, so keep an eye on it. You want the dulce to have a nice thick consistency as well as a bronzed and deep caramel appearance. Strain the dulce into a heat-safe bowl. Pour into a lidded container and stash in the fridge until ready to use. It will thicken more as it cools.
  2. Place the egg whites, sugar and sea salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and set on top of a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly, for about 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is thick, opaque and when rubbed between two fingers no longer feels gritty. Place the bowl in the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high until it holds stiff peaks. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and with the mixer on medium add the butter, one chunk at a time, waiting for one to blend completely before adding in the next. If the mixture curdles, your butter may be too cold. If it’s soupy, you may need to chill it for a quick spell in the fridge. Once all the butter has been added, run the machine for several more minutes until the mixture is smooth, glossy and voluminous. Run the machine on medium and add in 1/3 cup (75ml/104g) of the dulce de leche. Set aside until ready to fill the cookies; save remaining dulce de leche for another use.

For the Cookie

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (170C) and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until they are finely chopped and have the appearance of fine breadcrumbs. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, powdered sugar and sea salt and pulse until completely combined. Scatter the butter over the hazelnut mixture, along with the milk and vanilla and pulse to combine. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
  3. Form 1 teaspoon-size dough balls and place on the baking sheet, 1-inch from each other. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  4. Once cool, smear the bottom of one cookie with the dulce buttercream and set another cookie on top.
  5. Thank you for making these cookies! Be sure to tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife #12DaysOfSweetTreats so I can see your beautiful cookies!! 

**This is the original version of this recipe; the one included in the Bake From Scratch issue has some quantity differences.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert -- Cookies
Serves: 42
 
Baci di Dama are petite Italian cookie sandwiches made with ground hazelnuts. The cookie base has cocoa powder added for that perfect hazelnut-chocolate combination that I love so much. These cookies are chocolate-y, without being too sweet and they melt and crumble once bitten. For the filling, we create the most decadent dulce de leche buttercream that you’ll want to eat by the spoonful. The cookies come together quickly, however take note of the cook time for the dulce so you can plan accordingly.
Ingredients
  • For the Dulce De Leche
  • • 1 ¾ cups (414 ml) whole milk
  • • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • • ⅔ cup (128 g) granulated sugar
  • • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • For the Buttercream
  • • 2 large egg whites
  • • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • • ½ cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter
  • • ⅓ cup ((75ml/104g)) dulce de leche, cooled
  • For the Cookie
  • • 1 cup (128 g) raw hazelnuts, skinned and coarsely chopped
  • • 1 cup (136 g) all-purpose flour
  • • ⅓ cup (28 g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • • ⅓ cup (70 g) brown sugar, packed
  • • ¼ cup (33 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • • ¾ cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
  • • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For the Dulce De Leche Buttercream
  2. In a large saucepan whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds + pod and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, whisk in the baking soda and set a timer for 1 hour. Whenever you walk by the pot, give it a stir and adjust the temperature to keep it from boiling; you just want some bubbles around the edges of the pan. Usually between the 30-45 minute mark, the color starts to deepen and the mixture begins to thicken a bit. When this happens, it’s going to be more prone to a heavy boil (which is bad), so stick near it adjusting the temperature as necessary and stirring more frequently. It should be done anywhere between 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1½ hours. This dulce deepens and thickens faster than usually because of the addition of cream, so keep an eye on it. You want the dulce to have a nice thick consistency as well as a bronzed and deep caramel appearance. Strain the dulce into a heat-safe bowl. Pour into a lidded container and stash in the fridge until ready to use. It will thicken more as it cools.
  3. Place the egg whites, sugar and sea salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and set on top of a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly, for about 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is thick, opaque and when rubbed between two fingers no longer feels gritty. Place the bowl in the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high until it holds stiff peaks. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and with the mixer on medium add the butter, one chunk at a time, waiting for one to blend completely before adding in the next. If the mixture curdles, your butter may be too cold. If it’s soupy, you may need to chill it for a quick spell in the fridge. Once all the butter has been added, run the machine for several more minutes until the mixture is smooth, glossy and voluminous. Run the machine on medium and add in ⅓ cup (75ml/104g) of the dulce de leche.
  4. For the Cookie
  5. Preheat the oven to 325F and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until they are finely chopped and have the appearance of fine breadcrumbs. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, powdered sugar and sea salt and pulse until completely combined. Scatter the butter over the hazelnut mixture, along with the milk and vanilla and pulse to combine. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
  7. Form 1 teaspoon-size dough balls and place on the baking sheet, 1-inch from each other. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  8. Once cool, smear the bottom of one cookie with the dulce buttercream and set another cookie on top.
  9. Thank you for making these cookies! Be sure to tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife #12DaysOfTreats so I can see your beautiful cookies!!
  10. **This is the original version of this recipe; the one included in the Bake From Scratch issue has some quantity differences.

 

 

3 Comments

  • Paula D 2019/12/04 at 3:29 PM

    Any substitution for a non nut version?

    Reply
  • Morgan 2019/12/03 at 7:05 PM

    What a perfect, adorable little holiday treat!!!!!! Your recipes always amaze me!!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2019/12/03 at 7:23 PM

      Thank you Morgan!! These were so fun to make!!! xoxo

      Reply

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