Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alfajores


Alfajores are a traditional South American dessert. My mom used to make it for us kids on special occasions when we were growing up. They are vanilla sandwith cookies filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut flakes.

This Christmas I decided to try making them for our family. My mom has made them so often that she eyes the ingredients until the dough reaches her desired consistency so I couldn't just call her up and ask her to email me her recipe. Instead I searched the Internet for a reliable recipe and tweaked it each time I've made them until I was happy with the outcome.

I am sharing some alfajores to a girls get-together this week and had to type up my version of the recipe so I am sharing it with you present live blog and future blog book readers as well.

Enjoy!

Alfajores Argentinian Style

Ingredients
Recipe makes 3 dozen cookies

· 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purposed flour
· 2 1/2 cups cornstarch
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
· 3/4 cup white sugar
· 4 egg yolks
· 1  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 teaspoon almond extract
· 1 (11.5 ounce) jar dulce de leche (found in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores)
· 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut



Directions

·  Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

· Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, allowing each yolk to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract with the last egg. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a spoon, making a crumbly dough. When the dough becomes cohesive enough, press it together into a ball with your hands. If too crumbly, wrap it with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

· Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Roll out the dough, using as little flour as possible, about 1/4 inch thick. The dough will have an unusual consistency. Cut with a small round cookie cutter. Continue pressing the dough together, rolling it out, and cutting until you have used it all. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

· Bake in the preheated oven until set but not browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies immediately to cool on a wire rack.

· Spread the underside of a cooled cookie with a teaspoon of dulce de leche, then sandwich together with another cookie until the caramel oozes out the sides. Roll the sides in the shredded coconut.




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