Monday, July 20, 2009

Cocoa Nib & Salted Dulce de Leche Biscuits

I love my baking experiments. Sometimes. Well I love them when they work out...and I get REALLY cranky when they are a disaster. I will moan and sulk and bang things around the kitchen like a petulant child. So lucky for everyone around me, my latest experiment was an almighty success.

The idea for these biscuits came to me after staying up late one night. I don't know quite how it came to me but I suddenly fell in love with the idea of mixing salt with dulce de leche. I find that a lot of people think dulce de leche is a little too sweet and insanely rich (a couple people freaked out the first time I fed them banoffee pie for the first time). I know, I know, the whole salted caramel thing is a total trend thing going around at the moment, but I am all for balancing out flavours in my dessert.

These turned out to be a huge hit. The biscuits are not very sweet but have a slight bitterness from the cocoa and nutty flavour and textre from the cocoa nibs. The caramel is rich and sticky and super sweet and it matches so well with the little surprises of salt crystals. The only issue I have is that they are so sticky because of the dulce de leche that they are really hard to transport, so I experimented turning them into sandwich cookies. Not bad...not quite as pretty though.

Cocoa Nib & Salted Dulce de Leche Biscuits
70g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1 tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tbsp cocoa nibs (substitute with more cocoa powder if you cannot get these)
2 tbsp milk
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
sea salt flakes

Remove any labels from the sweetened condensed milk can and place the can (still sealed) in a medium saucepan full of boiling water. Cover with a lid and boil for 2 hours, keeping a careful eye on the pan and topping up with water regularly. Do not allow the water level to drop below half the height of the can to ensure it does not explode. When the 2 hours are up, remove from the heat and allow to cool (or place under running cold water to cool it down quicker). At this point it is compulsory to open up the can and eat a spoonful of your dulce de leche (because I say so).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until it is light and fluffy. Add the sifted flours and cocoa alternatively with the milk. Mix with a knife until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and gather together into a rough ball. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 2mm (you may need to split the dough into half and do this in two sheets). Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm. Cut the dough using a cookie cutter and re-roll and cut the dough scraps.

Place on baking trays, allowing some room for spreading (not much). Bake for 10 minutes or until firm. Be careful as these can burn fairly easily as they are so thin.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

At this point I like to scoop the dulce de leche out of the can into a mixing bowl and beat it for a couple minutes with an electric mixer until is it smooth. This makes it light and easier for spreading over the biscuits.

Using a spatula or a spoon, carefully spread a layer of dulce de leche over each cookie. Place on a tray to set.

When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt flakes over each biscuit.

I got my brother to taste test these and he was impressed and only had one small suggestion of adding some acid with maybe some orange zest. If you knew my brother you would realise that the lack of criticism means that these biscuits rated SUPER high. I was suitably pleased :D

Print Friendly and PDF Pin It


  1. Oh my. These look absolutely delicious. I just bought some fleur de sel (trendy, I know!!) and have a little running list of things I want to make. I think these must go on that list. They look great!

  2. DULCE DE LECHE!!!! Drooooool! bahahahahaha

  3. omg! these look so cute and pretty!!!

  4. brilliant idea, and i am totally in love with salted caramel at the moment too. haha at your brother's idea. i am totally making these soon!

  5. these sound great, but the photos are even better. very nice.

  6. These look great! Definitely going to try making these too - oh, and trying my hand at dulce de leche for the first time. Eep.

  7. i read the recipe and ended up reading it again - how bizarre that you put a whole can of condensed milk to boil! as you can probably tell, i'm a newbie to dulce de leche - as bizarre as it to cook it, it looks and sounds fantastic. i love how cute these hart shaped cookies are :P

  8. Oh mmannn everybody is making dulce! I think it's a sign I should be too! And yay for salt and sweet :) these look soo goodd mmm

  9. I wonder who start this DDL trend???????? ;-) I just bought a new on the shelf chocolate cook book and they have a DDL with salt recipe too!!!

  10. Ahh these are the biscuits you were telling us about on the weekend! Lovely and genius touch sprinkling with salt :)

  11. Aww these look so cute! I'm not afraid of sweetness or stickiness - bring it on! Love the addition of salt too - it's in for a reason!

  12. Julia - Oooh they would look so pretty with that! Trendy but pretty ;) Hehe thank you!

    Trisha - I agree, drooool! :D

    VoN - Thankies!!

    Helen - :D Thanks! Salted caramel is so moreish isn't it?? Ooh let me know if you do, would love to know how they turn out!

    Justin - Aww thanks! :)

    Forager - Ooh good luck with the dulce de leche, it's worth it!

    panda - LOL i know people can't seem to get their heads around it. The whole can, sealed, no holes! Really!! :) Thanks very much!

    FFichiban - Oooh I hope your dulce turned out good! Salt and sweet is the best :) Thanks!

    Ellie - haha yes you are the ddl queen! :) But I did start making it ages ago! ;)

    Lorraine - hehe yup these are ones I plucked out of my imagination :D Thank you!

    Betty - :D Hehe I agree, it totally works!

  13. how delicious do these cookie look, and I just love dulce de leche. I think I could down a dozen very quickly.

  14. :) I nearly did, it took a lot of self control to stop myself eating all of them!


Comments are moderated and will be published ASAP. If you are viewing this on your phone, you might have to click the Preview button before posting your comment for it to work. People who comment make my day! ♥