Biscoitos de Nata are little cream cookies from Brazil. They can be formed into a variety of shapes like twists, circles, fork-pressed rounds, piped wreaths, or into filled thumbprint cookies. In this version, the thumbprint-shaped cookies are filled with Doce de Leite (Dulce de Leche). Goiabada (guava paste) is another popular filling.
Doce de Leite (Dulce de Leche) is a creamy caramel spread made by simmering sweetened milk over low heat for a few hours until thickened and a deep golden color, generally with the addition of baking soda and sometimes vanilla. It is now readily available in most larger supermarkets with a Latin American section. You can also make it at home.
The amount of cornstarch added to the cookies varies. I included 1/3 cup for 2 cups of flour. Some have more cornstarch than flour while others only had a little included. They can also be made with Polvilho (manioc/cassava flour).
Biscoito de Nata com Doce de Leite (Brazilian Cream Cookies with Dulce de Leche)
Adapted from Easy and Delish
2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
1/3 cup (50 grams) cornstarch
~1 cup Doce de Leite (Dulce de Leche)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line two large baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together the cream, butter, and sugar until light and smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until mixed. Slowly add the flour mixture to create a thickened dough.
Scoop out a tablespoon-sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and press your thumb into the center to create an indention. Repeat with remaining dough and place 2 inches (4 cm) apart on the baking sheets. Fill each indention with dulce de leche.
Bake in preheated oven just until the bottoms are lightly golden, about 18 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.