These sweet empanadas or dulce de leche cookies, have a tender crumb infused with coffee and filled with creamy dulce de leche.
Not your traditional holiday recipe, but one that you'll want to bring to any gathering.
Christmas cookies are not a tradition in South America, although, with the spread of social media, more and more people are making them. And these dulce de leche cookies are a blend of the two cultures in our family.
Sweet Empanadas (Dulce de Leche Cookies) Video
Other Dulce de Leche Recipes:
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is a dairy product made by cooking down milk and sugar and is commonly used as a filling for cakes, pastries, and cookies in many South American countries.
Dulce de leche comes in different thicknesses. For this recipe don't use the pourable kind. Either use Nestle Dulce de Leche in a can or for a more traditional flavor, Vacalin Dulce de Leche Reposteria (this is a thicker dulce de leche).
- unsalted butter, at room temperature
- cream cheese, at room temperature
- large egg, at room temperature
- vanilla extract
- instant coffee or coffee extract
- icing sugar
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking powder
- baking soda
- dulce de leche
- chocolate chips
How to make Sweet Empanadas (Dulce de Leche Cookies)
Chocolate cream cheese cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven, and grease a couple of cookie sheets.
- Measure all the ingredients.
- Start by creaming butter and cream cheese. Then add icing sugar, egg, vanilla, and coffee extract.
- Once the mixture is creamy, add the dry ingredients. If your mixer can handle it, do this step with the mixer, otherwise, use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix it.
- Roll out the dough and cut into circles. Add dulce de leche in the center of each cookie.
Assembling and Baking:
- To make sure they close properly, lightly brush the edges with water.
- Place a dollop of dulce de leche in the center of each cookie, close each cookie, and gently press the edges.
- Bake for 8 minutes each batch.
- Once cool, drizzle with melted chocolate.
How to store dulce de leche cookies:
These dulce de leche cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
How to freeze chocolate cookie dough:
Divide the dough into 2 portions, shape them into discs, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and place them in a zip-lock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To use: place frozen dough in the fridge overnight. Use the next day.
How to freeze baked chocolate cookies:
Once cooled, freeze cookies in a zip-lock bag, or an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Before serving: Defrost cookies on the counter for an hour. Melt chocolate and drizzle over cookies.
Sweet Empanadas FAQS
Yes, another delicious option is Nutella. Just make sure the filling you are using is not too runny.
No, margarine contains more water and less fat. It makes thin cookies that spread out while baking and might burn.
More Christmas Cookies on Chipa by the Dozen
If you like this easy dulce de leche cookie recipe, try some of these other great recipes from around the world.
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Empanadas (Cookies)
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee or 1 teaspoon coffee extract
- 1 teaspoon water, hot
- ½ cup butter, softened (113.4g)
- 85 g / 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1-½ cups icing sugar (187.5g)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2-⅓ cups all-purpose flour (291.6g)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (39.33g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup dulce de leche (200g)
- 113 g / 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190.5C. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
- If using instant coffee, disolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water. Set aside.
- In a large bowl on medium speed, cream butter and cream cheese. Add icing sugar and beat for another minute. Add egg, vanilla and coffee mixture, mix until creamy.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until about ⅛ inch thick. Using a 3-inch fluted or plain round cookie cutter, cut out the dough. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Place 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche in the center of each circle. Lightly brush edges of circles with water. Fold each circle in half; gently press edges to seal.
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate for 1.30 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. Spoon chocolate mixture into a heavy resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner off the bag; drizzle chocolate over cookies. Let stand until chocolate sets.