Dec 19, 2017

Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies include the flavors of chocolate, coffee liqueur, cayenne pepper. and dulce de leche.

Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with dulce de leche are rich, spicy, and deeply flavored with Dutch processed cocoa. The addition of a small amount of cayenne pepper adds a subtle warmth to the cookies.

The flavors in these cookies may be complex, but the cookies are easier to make than they look. You don't have to chill the dough, and the dough is really easy to work with.

While you could use a cookie scoop to portion the dough, it was easier for me to divide the dough into evenly sized pieces and roll them into balls with my hands. Your hands will get a little chocolatey, but you'll end up with the exact amount of cookies that the recipe calls for, and all of the cookies will be evenly sized.... much better for making cookie sandwiches!

Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Dulce de leche is sugar and milk that is cooked low and slow until it turns to a beautiful thick caramel. I used the dulce de leche that comes in a can and can be found in the same section as evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk in the baking section of your grocery store. It's the perfect texture for sandwich cookies. I heard that you can make dulce de leche yourself in the slow cooker with unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk submerged in water, but I have not tried it myself.

Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

By the way, the sprinkles on top of these cookies are actually ground almonds! These cookies are moist and dense, and have just the right amount of heat to warm you up during the cold winter months.

This month, we are baking international traditional winter holiday cookies. Need holiday cookie ideas? After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the cookie recipes from the Creative Cookie Exchange bakers.

Yield: 20 sandwich cookies

Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies Recipe


  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, or 3 tablespoons almond meal/flour
  • 7 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 ounce (1/4 cup) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 4 2/3 ounces (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua or Tia Maria coffee liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dulce de leche (see note)


  1. With a rack in the middle, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Pulse the almonds in a mini food processor or nut grinder until you have almond meal. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and cayenne powder in a bowl. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium high until fluffy and very pale. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, egg yolks, liqueur, and vanilla and beat until mixed in. 
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three parts, beating between each addition until just incorporated. 
  5. With a bench knife, divide the dough in half, and cover one of the halves with plastic wrap. 
  6. Divide the other half into four equal pieces, and then divide each quarter into five equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball with your hands, and space all twenty on one of the paper lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops with the almond meal, and gently press the tops of the balls so that the almonds will stick. 
  7. Bake the sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool, at least 40 minutes. 
  8. While the first sheet of cookies are baking, repeat the same process with the rest of the dough. When the first baking sheet is finished baking, bake the second sheet of cookies. 
  9. When the cookies have cooled completely, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of dulce del leche on the bottom of one of the cookies, and top with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
recipe adapted from Cook's Country Magazine, December/January, 2012

Everyone loves cookies at the holidays--no matter what holidays you are celebrating. And there are so many wonderful traditional cookies all over the world that we have decided to revisit this theme. Check out December 2014 for other choices from our first time doing it. And get inspired to get into the kitchen!

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies #cookies #chocolatecookies #nochebuenacookies


  1. Those are absolutely lovely, as everything you've been baking lately...

    I adore dulce de leche...

    1. Awww. Thank you! I think you would really like these.

  2. These are awesome! We usually make our own caramel by simmering cans of condensed sweetened milk, like you mentioned. We use them in Banoffee pies:) So it would work perfectly for this:)
    Great job Karen!
    Wishing you and yours a beautiful Holiday Season! xoxo

    1. I'm going to have to look into banoffee pies! Thanks so much. Have a wonderful holiday!


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