Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

My Kitchen Adventures

Yield:  Approx. 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2  cup + 2 TBS  granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1- 13oz. can La Lechera, Dulce de Leche (caramel)
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat. 
2.  In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer in a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar.  Mix until combined. Add in the vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix very well until light and fluffy. (4-5 minutes is about right) 
3.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and mix until well incorporated. 
4.  Take about a TBS of dough and roll into a ball.  With finger or thumb, press an indentation into the middle of the ball.  
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  (the original poster baked for approximately 20 minutes, but I found that to be too long) Adjust bake time according to your oven.  Cookies are done when they appear just browned around the bottom edges. Allow to cool for a minute on the baking sheet before removing them to rack. (The indentations you made before baking will look like they are gone while the cookies are baking, but as they cool, the cookie will sink and they will appear again.)
6.  While the cookies are still warm, spread the indentations with a bit of the La Lachera, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Allow the cookie to sit at room temperature for a few hours or until the caramel has set up and isn't sticky any longer.  Store in an airtight container. 
(adapted from A Spicy Perspective)