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Every time Lui and I go out to eat Peruvian food (at least once a month) we get a box of these amazing little goodies. About 9 mini alfajores are devoured within 24 hours, usual 12, every.single.time. Did I mention I’m not that good with portion control?

Well, something crazy happens to me when I make my own food. I’m a little more controlled. I only had about 3 of these cookies, getting better right? That’s partially because I made them for my class, not me. For a Monday night they got pretty good reviews, as well as a few reach-backs for more- always a good sign.

I think the reach-back part was to get some more of the gooey oozy middle filling that is homemade dulce de leche. Caramel like in texture and flavor yet no need for any thermometers or stovetops. Just an oven safe dish and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Cover in foil, place in another pan and add water about an inch thick.

Then do NOT turn the oven to 300 degrees, load everybody into the oven and wait an hour for sweetened condensed milk to get warm. I may or may not have done this. Grr. The right temp. is 425. Got that? 425. Otherwise it won’t get all caramelized. It will just be warm. And warm milk isn’t dulce de leche, lets just leave it at that.

Anyway, another hour later I had this. After letting it cool and a few quick whisks..

..this was the end consistency for me. Please don’t try it when it’s hot. A burnt tongue can’t taste and now what’s the point in that? Place it by an open window, it will cool off in no time.

When making cookies I always like to follow the method of wet ingredients first, and incorporating the dry in parts. I used more butter and partial whole wheat pastry flour than the recipe I originally saw on Tastespotting, but hers had peanut butter so I thought I’d make up for it. I blended the butter and sugar together until creamy, added the vanilla and egg, then added the flour/salt combo… this is what I got. It was prrrreeetttty soft. As in too soft to roll out.

Even if I didn’t have a real rolling pin (or cookie cutter.) All the recipes I read didn’t say a thing about refrigerating the dough.. but I remember something from my Food Network obsession days, and that was Giada and Ina always refrigerating their dough before rolling it out. So I did too. It was way easier. Thank you ladies.

         

I ended up making most of the cookies by hand, just rolling it into a ball and flattening it out with the fingers. Worked great.. gave the cookies that nice? rustic look. 

Note to self- get some cute cookie cutters.

   Ahh don’t fall! 

Phew! Saved that one. They say not to add too much dulce de leche, but I couldn’t help myself, it’s sooooo good. We enjoyed the rest with an apple last night, puts up quite a competition with caramel if you ask me, and SO easy to make!

Not super healthy for you, but better than anything that can stay on the shelf for generations without spoiling, and totally worth the minimal effort. Let me know what you think!

Happy Tuesday!

~l

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

alfajores adapted from this recipe from Mississippi Kitchen

makes about 15-20 depending on the size

1 can sweetened condensed milk

water

dry

1 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

wet

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 c. raw sugar

1/3 c. brown sugar, packed

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

I’ve changed this to make it less time-consuming and allow for the refrigeration time.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let the butter and egg sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. If the butter still isn’t soft you can heat it a little but don’t melt it.

2. Cream the butter and sugars together until thoroughly combined. Next add the vanilla and egg, incorporate into the wet mixture, but do not over mix.

3. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients. 1/2 cup at a time blend it into the wet mix. I used a hand mixer but a spatula works too, just remember you don’t want to overwork this and make it bread. It’s cookies!

4. Once the dough is formed use a spatula to scrap down all the sides of the bowl and form the dough into a ball as much as possible, flouring your hands if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

5. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into an oven proof dish. Cover with foil and place that dish into another bigger dish. Add enough water to cover about an inch thick. Cook in oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. It should be darker in color, a little lighter than caramel. Let cool before whisking to smooth consistency, let cool completely before attempting to try it.

6. Turn oven down to 300 degrees. Remove dough from fridge, roll out onto lightly floured surface and cut cookie shapes, or just make dough balls with your hands, they all taste the same. The cookies don’t really rise so make them the thickness you want to eat them.

7. Bake cookies for about 35 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a cookie rack.

8. Once completely cool, add a ‘thin’ layer of dulce de leche on every other cookie and assemble your little cookie sandwiches. Dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

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