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.