2000s Recipes + Menus

Dulce de Leche Half-Moons

Makesabout 50 cookies
  • Active time:1 1/2 hr
  • Start to finish:5 hr
December 2008
Known as pepitorias, these tasty caramel-filled wafer “tacos” embellished with toasted pumpkin seeds are a regular offering at Mexican markets and sweets shops, especially in the city of Puebla, which is famous for so many confections. The wafers are traditionally brightly colored, but we chose to stick with a more seasonal white-and-gold motif. Since tinted edible wafer paper is hard to come by in the United States, we used precut white Back-Oblaten, imported from Germany, and we explain how to color them. Painting them with food coloring or water softens them enough to fold around the caramel.
  • 1/2 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds
  • Powdered water-soluble food colorings in assorted colors
  • 5 teaspoons water, divided
  • 50 (70-mm) Back-Oblaten (German round edible wafer papers; about 2 3/4-inch)
  • 1 cup dulce de leche, cajeta, or arequipe
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • Spread seeds in a 4-sided sheet pan and toast in oven until puffed and slightly golden (but not browned), 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely on a plate.
  • Stir 1/4 tsp colored powder into 1 tsp water in a small bowl until dissolved.
  • Spread 10 wafers in 1 layer on a rack. Paint tops of wafers lightly with coloring using a pastry brush (for white wafers, brush with water). Let stand until pliable, 3 to 5 minutes (if too wet to lift, let stand until slightly drier). Invert wafers, then spoon a level tsp dulce de leche onto unpainted side of each. Fold each in half, pressing to spread dulce de leche just to edge. Insert 8 seeds halfway into dulce de leche around open edge of each half-moon to look like spokes. Dry on racks until wafer paper is dry and dulce de leche is firm enough to hold seeds in place, 1 to 4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, paint remaining wafers with remaining colors, 1 color at a time. Make more confections in same manner.
Cooks’ note:
  • Confections keep, stacked in an airtight container at room temperature, 1 week.
  • Mixed colored half-moons can be packaged in clear cellophane bags tied with ribbon.
  • We’ve also got a web-exclusive recipe using the leftover dulce de leche.
Subscribe to Gourmet