Friday, April 27, 2012

Alfajores

The very last cookie that I made before Pesach, the one that got the most enthusiastic review and I think the one I'm most proud of! I had some leftover dulce de leche sitting in the fridge after baking a birthday cake for one of my soldiers and the only thing I could think of to do with it was make Alfajores, the classic Argentinian cookie. Alfajores seem to be easy to make but Argentinians are very particular about them; getting the cookie to be the perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture isn't easy but I figured I'd make them anyway and leave the worry of authenticity behind. I turned to Micky Shemo's book for this recipe and seeing how many cookies it would yield opted to halve the recipe. (Even having halved it, I got PLENTY of cookies- guess it depends on how small you cut the cookies.) This recipe uses a generous amount of cornstarch which gives it its texture and also makes the dough a dream to work with. Bake these I cookies just until puffed and set- you're not going to get much color on these. As I mentioned, I used store bought dulce de leche but you can always make your own. As far as the coconut element, I rolled some in coconut and left some plain. Your call. Either way, you're going to have some happy campers, er, soldiers.

Alfajores
slightly adapted from The Best of Mickey Shemo

Cookie Dough:
175 grams softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder

Filling:
dulce de leche

Coating:
Desiccated coconut

For the dough:
Place the margarine and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat for two minutes until creamy. Add eggs and beat to blend. Stir together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture. Cover the dough and chill at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to about 170 degrees celsius and line baking sheets with parchment. Divide the dough into two and working with one portion at a time, roll the dough until about a 1/2 cm thickness.
Cut into 4 cm circles. Place on baking sheets
and bake for about 15 minutes until barely golden. Cool.
Using a piping back, a disposable plastic bag with the corner cut off or a spoon, top one cookie with a dollop of dulce de leche and top with another cookie.
Roll edges in desiccated coconut, if desired. 

1 comment:

overtimecook.com said...

These cookies are so beautiful! I'll have to try them some day. :)