Saturday, December 8, 2007

Day 7: Alfajores


Okay let's brush those sbrisolona crumbs off the sides of our mouth and hop on a plane from Italy to Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Brazil or Chile (whichever country you prefer, maybe somewhere warm). The delectable alfajor, a sandwich cookie made with buttery biscuits filled a layer of dulce de leche, is a very popular snack in all of these South American countries. The cookies can be dusted with some powdered sugar or covered with chocolate. I dunno about you but anything with dulce de leche has my full, undivided attention. And yes these are as delicious as they sound.

Dulce de leche is very easy to make at home. You can either start with whole milk and use Pim's recipe or start with a can of sweetened condensed milk. I chose to with go the condensed milk route but I was scared to death of the whole "can may explode" warnings because hey if it can happen, it will probably happen to me. I envisioned a loud bang and hot goo covered can shrapnel flying every which way. So better play it safe. Luckily, I found an explosion-free way to make dulce de leche using a double boiler.

Explosion-Free Stovetop Dulce de Leche
Pour the can of condensed milk in the top part of the double boiler and simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally until the DDL is the color and thickness you like. At the end of cooking mine was almost solid. Steven turned the pan upside down and marveled that it barely moved at all.


1 - 1 1/4 C AP flour
1/2 C corn starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
1 stick of butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dulce de leche
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl whisk together the flour (starting with 1 cup), cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough comes together. Add some of the remaining 1/4 C of flour if the dough is too wet.

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 in thickness and cut into whatever shape you desire. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.

Cool on a rack and fill with a teaspoon or more of dulce de leche (I chose more).

Dust the tops with some powdered sugar (add a tiny bit of cinnamon if preferred). I skipped the dusting part.

Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies
Day 2: Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam
Day 3: Pumpkin Butter Thumbprints
Day 4: Butterscotch Cookies with Hazelnuts
Day 5: Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever with Chocolate Chunks, Pecans, and Dried Cherries
Day 6: Torta Sbrisolona

These are one of my favorites so I will be submitting these to Susan for her Eat Christmas Cookies Event. Head on over to her blog for even more Christmas Cookies!

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