Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Dinner's Dessert: Sofia's Dulce de Leche Oatmeal Cookies--in Berlin and beyond!

With Chef Sabine and our beautiful  cooking class assistant from my last Berlin visit (and cooking class!)!
As you read this, I'm probably boarding my plane for Berlin...and I promise to share my culinary adventures there, especially since one of the people I'll be with is the amazing chef, Sabine Hueck!
Though I'm not teaching there this time, I'll most certainly be learning. Of course, I'll explore--and share my findings.

 In the meantime, I'm sharing a recipe that was as huge a hit there, as it's been here in New York: Sofia's Dulce De Leche Oatmeal Cookies. Named after my daughter Sofia, they've been a highly-requested item ever since I made them over 10 years ago. Sometimes I make them into "sandwiches" with a creamy dark chocolate middle, or add coconut/pecans for variety, but the original version, which I'm sharing with you today, is still a favorite.

This was the dessert we served after one of my cooking classes!
Presentation courtesy of amazing Chef Sabine!
After a few evenings of teaching cooking classes in October a few years ago--Sabine and I  hit the town!

Sofia’s Dulce de Leche Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Viva la Vida/Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano, © 2002
Chronicle Books,

Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies

1 cup quick oats
1 cup white cane sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons excellent quality vanilla (My favorite: Primera, from the Dominican Republic)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons dulce de leche* 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together and chill for about an hour.  Use a Silpat, parchment paper, or  aluminum foil, shiny side up, to cover baking sheet pans. Use two teaspoons, and scoop up about a 1/2 teaspoon of dough for each cookie in rows three wide and four long (depending on your cookie sheet).  Make sure you spread out the cookies because they will expand!

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool completely before peeling them  off. Serve immediately or store for up to five days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them and take them out  just before serving.

* Makes 1 3/4 cup dulce de leche
One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Of course you can make it the old-fashioned way, as my wonderful culinary adventurist cousin Donna did with great results--but here's a quicker method: Place the can in a deep pot, and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Once it is boiling, set the timer for an hour and forty-five minutes. Make sure you constantly check the water to make sure it is always covering the can. Also, do not let it boil for more than two hours; not only will you overcook the dulce de leche, you will also run the risk of exploding the cans (which, I am happy to report, has not happened and we have been doing this in my family for many, many years). Using tongs, occasionally turn the cans to stir the milk. After the timer rings, remove the can from the water and let cool to room temperature before opening. When cool, transfer the caramelized milk to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


  1. It’s fun to make dulce de leche on the stove top. It took an hour and a half of stirring, but it was very meditative—a great way to slow down in this too-fast world. I used half goat’s milk, but next time I’ll use all goat because the flavor it lends is very complex; it’s delicious! The velvety texture is phenomenal. Dulce de leche? A whole new world!

  2. Wow! Thanks, Donna, for inspiring all of us to make dulce de leche on our own!