These fudgy Mexican chocolate cookies are stuffed with rich dulce de leche! Spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, the flavors are perfectly balanced by the sweet dulce de leche filling. They make one delicious chocolate cookie with a little kick!
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is a Latin American confection. It’s produced by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk, giving it a rich caramel flavor and color.
By simmering milk and sugar, the water from the milk begins to evaporate and the sugar caramelizes the milk, creating this thick and sweet creamy mixture. Dulce de leche actually translates to “candy of milk” because of its rich flavor.
It can be used in just about any dessert whether it be cakes, cookies, crepes, ice cream, or even donuts. Mix it into the batter, pour it on top, or stuff it inside. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds delicious caramel flavor.
There are a few ways you can go about obtaining dulce de leche. I personally like to purchase the cans which are usually found in the Hispanic Foods section of the grocery store. It’s nice and thick so it’s easy to stuff into these chocolate cookies.
You can also boil a whole can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours. Remove all the labeling and place the sealed can in a pot of boiling water. Although, I find that this method does not yield a super thick dulce de leche like the ready-made can does.
How to make Mexican chocolate cookies
These spicy chocolate cookies are an interesting twist on a classic dessert. Adding a hint of cinnamon and cayenne pepper (yes, you read that right) creates an interesting flavor profile that works so well with the dulce de leche filling.
The main ingredients that make this a flavorful chocolate cookie are dark chocolate cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and espresso powder. The dark cocoa powder gives these cookies are rich color while the spices and espresso help to enhance the flavors.
It’s prepared just like any other dough. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients and setting side.
For the butter and sugar, we’re using a mix of brown and white sugar. The brown sugar adds some chewiness while the white sugar gives these cookies a crisp edge.
Cream together the butter and sugar until you’re left with a thick paste-like consistency. This takes a couple minutes so just keep mixing until the butter is fully incorporated.
Next, add in the egg and vanilla. Once incorporated, mix in the dry ingredients.
The next step is to stuff the cookie dough and then let them rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
How to make dulce de leche stuffed cookies
Start by placing 12 heaping teaspoons of the dulce de leche onto a plate lined with parchment paper. This part is a little messy but that’s the extent of the stickiness for this recipe.
Place the plate in the freezer while you make the dough. By the time you’re done with the cookie dough, the dulce de leche should have firmed up enough to where they’re easier to pick up and stuff into the cookie. Keep in mind that they will never fully freeze.
Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop, fill it halfway with the cookie dough. Press your thumb into the center to create a pocket for the filling.
Place the dulce de leche into the center and cover with more cookie dough, make sure it’s completely sealed. Scoop onto a small cookie sheet and place all of the prepared cookie dough balls in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you could also take about 1/4 cup of the dough and press it flat in your hands. Place the dulce the leche in the center then carefully wrap the dough around it. This will give you a smooth cookie rather than the ridges on top that you see here.
For more stuffed cookie recipes, check out my:
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Dulce de Leche Stuffed Mexican Chocolate Cookies
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 12 large cookies
These fudgy Mexican chocolate cookies are stuffed with creamy dulce de leche! Spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, these chocolate cookies have a slight kick and rich flavor.
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- About 1/3 cup dulce de leche
- Flaky sea salt, optional
- Line a plate with wax paper and dollop on 12 heaping teaspoons of the dulce de leche. Place the plate in the freezer while you make the dough.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cayenne. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and espresso powder until you reach a thick paste-like consistency. This will take a few minutes.
- Mix in the vanilla and egg until combined.
- Finally, mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
- Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop, fill it about half way with the dough and press your thumb into the center. Place the chilled dulce de leche into the well and cover with more cookie dough.
- Once all the cookies are complete, place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake 5 to 6 cookies at a time for 10-12 minutes, keeping the remaining cookie dough in the fridge while the first half of the batch bakes.
- When they’re still warm, sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Let them cool for about 10-15 minutes then dig in. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: Mexican chocolate cookies, spicy chocolate cookies, dulce de leche stuffed cookies
Hello! I was wondering if these can be chilled over night. I noticed there was no chilling period in the recipe so I wanted to double check! Thanks!
They can, they just won’t spread as much when they bake 🙂
Megan Kerr says
We couldn’t find espresso powder so I used a little instant coffee instant and worked out great!
Super soft and chewy and the flavour is amazing. Still found the inside leaked out so I think I put too much dulce de leche inside.
How would you alter the recipe to make this cookie without stuffing with dulce de ledge?
No alterations needed. Just bake the chocolate cookies as instructed minus the filling 🙂
Thanks! Can’t wait to make them. I love everything I have tried so far.
I was nervous making this without the gram measurements but these turned out incredible!! I have never had one recipe from Jenna that wasn’t absolute heaven, so without trying these before I made them and took them to my future in-laws house. They were a huuuge hit! Everyone asked for the recipe.
Sophie Jorgenson says
could i make the cookies a bit smaller? like maybe half the size?
Yep, just make sure to reduce the bake time by a couple minutes.
Sarah Kranz says
I made these cookies last night and they were delicious! They had the perfect texture and flavor, I would definitely make these again. I was only surprised by how large the cookies were!
This recipe is incredible, the spices mixed with the dulce de leche is simply heaven! I make these very frequently because everyone loves them!
Can you make these without cayenne? I don’t have any, and I can’t seem to find any at the store.
Yes that should be ok!
I made these for the office for Cinco de Mayo. Everyone raved over them. Probably the best cookie I have ever eaten.
These were delicious. We drizzled a little of the extra dulce de leche on top after the bake.
I made the dulce de leche with a can of evaporated milk in a crockpot. Put the can in and cover completely with water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. I did 8.5, turned it off and let it cool in the crockpot overnight. It was really thick and creamy!