Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cookies, Desserts

This past week my family welcomed its newest member, the first in sixteen years, my cousin, Isabella Olivia. The minute I heard she entered the world, two things immediately happened. Firstly, I decided that I’d call her “Bella” (I’m a serious nickname giver), and secondly, my mind began racing thinking about all the amazing adventures that await her. I wish I could follow her around and be there to see her experience all sorts of stuff for the first time. Simple stuff…like eating a strawberry, seeing the beach, seeing elephants at the zoo…and trying her mother’s Alfajores for the first time.

You see, Isabella’s mother, my aunt, was taught how to make Alfajores by my great aunt who owns a humble, little bakery in the suburbs of Lima, Peru. Every morning, before dawn, they wake up and bake and talk and bake and talk. This morning tradition has been going on for forty-something years. Their best selling dessert is their Alfajores. I’ve been gifted the recipe by my aunt, and unfortunately was made to pinky swear to never share it with anyone, except for my future daughter or son.

I’m not going to lie, this recipe and that recipe have some pretty stark differences. For one, the dulce de leche (or Majarblanco. Fun fact:  Argentinians call this dulce de leche. Peruvians and various other South Americans call it Majarblanco) is made over the stovetop for hours and hours, requiring a lot of doting and attention. This method is much snappier and makes for quicker clean-up, and to my surprise tastes quite similarly. Secondly, the shortbread cookie recipe is drastically different, though both recipes yield a wonderful, light, flaky cookie that is the perfect partner to the decadent dulce de leche. But what really makes this recipe stand-out, is the vanilla ice cream sandwiched in the center. The dulce de leche tastes even better super cold, and to my surprise, the shortbread cookie is a total champ and holds up against the melty ice cream, which adds a super refreshing element. 

I think it’s super awesome that Bella will one day learn our aunt’s recipe too, and she’ll carry it close to her, as I do. Sometimes recipes are just recipes that you clip out of a magazine, or find on the internet on some random site, much like this one, but sometimes they’re so much more. On occasion the directions for how much butter, sugar and flour you use can weave together something that tells the stories of the struggle, happiness and hope that all came before you. Pretty cool…

{The boxed ice cream is a must. It makes assembling these ice cream sandwiches super easy. I cut about a 1/2 ice cream slice and cut it with a 2 inch cookie cutter. I used a cookie cutter smaller than the one I used to cut the short bread cookies. Act fast. Ice cream seems to melt much faster when working with it.}

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe tweaked every so slightly from Eric Ripert

Print this recipe!

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 box of vanilla ice cream

Remove the label from the sweetened condensed milk cans. Place the cans in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary to keep the cans fully submerged in water. Remove the cans of dulce de leche from water and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cream together butter, sugar and salt and add the flour and combine. Roll out the dough to ½ -inch on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2 ½ – inch round cutter, cut out shortbread cookies and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, open the cans of dulce de leche. Note: since the ice cream was melting so fast, I decided to do two sandwiches at a time. Lay half of the shortbread cookies on a tray. Spread dulce de leche on one half of the cookies. Grab ice cream and  cut off a 1/2 inch slice and lay on cutting board. Grab 2 inch round cutter and cut out ice cream. Place the ice cream on the cookie and top with the other half. Lightly press down and wrap in saran wrap and place in freezer until ready to serve. Repeat.

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Adriana May 25, 2011 at 1:00 am

    im a little confused. does the sweet condensed milk turn into dulce de leche after you take it out of the boiling pot? or did you add ingredients to it??? but i have to say i absolutely love your blog and recipes, i hope you continue to post 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Yep! No need to take it out of the can. Just stick the whole can in a pot of boiling water and when you take it out and open the can, it’ll be dulce de leche. Glorious magic!

  • Reply Danielle November 5, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Just a suggestion for the ice cream part of the ice cream sandwiches–I mix the ice cream with a wooden spoon quickly in a glass bowl so it’s just a little bit soft, and then (quickly) put dollops of the soft ice cream on the cookie, and squish the cookies together…you don’t have to cut it out the ice cream, and you don’t waste any, either. 🙂 These look amazing, and I have some dulce de leche already made up…!

  • Reply Andrea August 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Hi Adrianna, this recipe looks great! Just to help you a little so it doesn’t take that long to cook the dulce de leche, you can put the condensed milk cans in a pressure cooker (I don’t know if that’s the correct way to say it) with water covering them and let it cook for 30 minutes after the pressure starts. It’s faster and easier. I’m from Brazil and here we have “dulce de leche” (here we call it “doce de leite”) but some recipes we make with condensed milk like that. I hope it helps!

  • Reply amy April 20, 2010 at 3:58 am

    My Great great grandma past a recipe alot like this yours (shortbread made a bit different and of course ice cream made by hand) But not having a whole lot of time when my kids were younger I found that the round pint size ice cream or the single serving size a quick one cut and on the cookie…

  • Reply grace April 12, 2010 at 3:12 am

    this sounds like a special recipe, not only because of its obvious deliciousness, but also because of its treasured history with your family. welcome to the world, bella! 🙂

  • Reply Heather Antonelli April 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Wow! You suddenly made something that seemed completely out of dept- very achievable! I can’t wait to make these and in perfect time for all new deliveries…like Spring!

  • Reply Katrina April 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    These are so heavenly looking! I can’t wait to try 🙂

  • Reply Adrianna April 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Kaitlin-I actually borrowed the idea from another blogger but can’t find the link! I’ll find it and post it. Totally genius!

    Fair-The dulce de leche is super easy. I actually did four cans and now just have them stored in my pantry for whenever I get the urge.

    Kristen – Thank you so much!

  • Reply Kristen April 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Congrats on your newest family addition!! That is exciting, especially after all this time.

  • Reply Kaitlin April 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I never would have thought of slicing the ice cream like that. Genius!

    I wish I had secret recipes passed down in my family! But these still look amazing 😀

  • Reply Lauryn April 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Those ice cream sandwiches look amaaaazing! Yum!!

  • Reply Valen April 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Oh my gosh, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. These look incredible!

  • Reply Fair April 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

    They sound so easy to make, once you get beyond the dulce de leche part of the cooking.I can’t wait to try making these cookies for my very own self.

  • Reply brooke April 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

    those are so cute and look delcious