This is my version of a South American biscuit called Alfajores filled with dulce de leche (caramel) ice-cream rolled in sugar and spice pecans
Place the tin of condensed milk in a large saucepan of water, making sure that the tin is covered with water. Cover the saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 hours. Check from time to time to ensure the water level always covers the tin, if not top up with boiling water from the kettle. After 3 hours, turn off the heat and leave the tin to cool in the water. When cool divide caramel in half – you will need half for the ice-cream and half for the biscuits.
For caramel ice-cream, line a small loaf tin with plastic wrap. Beat cream cheese, vanilla bean paste, salt and 2 tablespoons of one of the halves of caramel in a medium bowl until very smooth and fluffy. In a large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks. Fold the caramel base into the cream and pour half into the prepared loaf tin. Drop in teaspoon sized amounts of the remaining half caramel for the ice-cream. Pour over remaining ice-cream mixture. Using a wooden skewer, gently swirl the caramel into the ice-cream. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or overnight until firm.
For sugar and spice pecans, preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Whisk eggwhite until foamy then add cinnamon, mixed spice, salt and sugars together in a medium bowl until well blended. Add pecans to egg white mixture and mix well. Tip onto prepared tray, separate the pecans in a single layer and bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway, or until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, chop into small pieces.
Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy, then add half the caramel. Add flour and sea salt flakes and stir until combined.
Divide the mixture into 16 even balls, approximately one heaped tablespoon each. Place the balls on baking trays lined with baking paper – I cooked four per tray. Using your fingers, carefully press the dough balls into 8cm circles. Bake for 15 minutes or until just firm. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool.
Fill biscuits with a scoop of caramel ice-cream and roll the edges in sugar and spice pecans.
Lyndey’s note: You won’t need all the sugar and spice pecans for this recipe; store in an airtight container and serve as a snack or sprinkle over ice-cream or even pancakes.