italian peach cookies with cream caramel filling



Yield: 4 dozen


560 g butter, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
6 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 x 250 g package cream cheese, room temperature
1 can Nestle Caramel
1 Tbsp. rum
1-1½ cups cookie crumbs
1 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
1 cup milk
50 drops yellow food colouring
3 drops red
Dark Orange/ Red:
1 cup milk
20 drops yellow food colouring
60 drops red food colouring
Fresh mint leaves, for decorating cookies (optional)

Line couple of baking trays with parchment paper and set-aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat sugar and butter on medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy.
Gradually add eggs and vanilla extract; continue to beat on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.
In a different bowl combine flour and baking powder and mix until mixed well.
Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture; beat to just combine.
Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
Spoon 1 Tablespoon of cookie dough; roll into balls and place on cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough ensuring balls are all the same size.
Bake on middle rack just until starting to turn colour (you do not want them to turn golden), 11-12 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately remove cookies from baking sheet and transfer to wire rack. (to stop the baking)
While cookies still warm begin carving out. Using a sharp paring knife, starting in centre of cookie, carve small holes (about the size of a quarter, making sure you do not carve the holes too deep). Place hollowed out crumbs into a bowl for use in your Dulche de Leche filling. Set cookies aside and cool completely prior to filling.
Caramel filling:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat cream cheese and Dulche de Leche (cooked condensed milk) on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes or until mixed well.
Add rum and cocoa powder, mix just until combined.
Using food processor or with your hands crumble saved cookie crumbs to fine crumbs.
Add 1 ½ cups crumbs into filling and mix well.
Assemble the cookies:
Pour 1 cup of milk into a small (deep bowl); add the food colourings to make Yellow/Orange colour. Pour 1 cup milk into another small (deep) bowl; add the food colourings to make Dark Orange/Red colour. Add enough food colouring to achieve a bright yellow and a bright red colours. Place sugar into third small (deep bowl).
Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe a small dollop of the filling into each hollowed cookie. Join two halves to form “Peach” shape cookie. Run your clean finger around filling to remove any excess when sandwiched together. Repeat until all cookies are filled and formed.
Dip half of joined cookie in yellow/orange food colouring. Dip the other half of cookie in dark orange/red food colouring making sure it meets and covers the yellow half just a tad. Make sure to dab off any excess colouring; roll cookie in sugar. Place cookie onto baking sheet lined with foil.
Decorate with a fresh sprig of mint and serve with your favourite tea.

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