The Latin American favorite cookies called “Alfajores”

Alfajores

Up till I work with my manager who hails from Uruguay, I never heard of Alfajores. On her trip back to her country to visit her parents, she would normally hand-carry these delicate cookies all the way from Uruguay which is not a direct flight but passing through either Brazil or Argentina for her connecting flight to Amsterdam.

It was love at first bite when she introduced these cookies to me sometime ago and I would normally look forward to her trip back with these cookies. I got very curious that I decided that maybe this is not such a complicated recipe after all. I was right, this is indeed very simple as it just involves making the shortbread cookies, filling that with the dulce de leche and presto, I have my alfajores.

I got the recipe for shortbread cookies from my favorite Joy of Baking site.

Here are the ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg (optional and this is my own tweak to this recipe)

Filling:
1 can Dulce de Leche or caramel
1 cup toasted coconut

Pre-heat oven to 350F (177C). Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly brown on the sides.

Flour mixture is flour with salt and nutmeg.

1. In a bowl, beat the butter (with an electric mixer of a hand mixer) until smooth and creamy for about a minute.

2. Add the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.

3. Beat in the vanilla extract.

4. Add the flour mixture.

5. And stir until just incorporated.

6. The dough should now be flattened and wrapped in a plastic film, chilled for at least an hour in the fridge or until firm.

7. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

8. Cut into hearts, rounds or other shapes.

My little helper enjoys the cookie-cutting process.

9. Place on the prepared baking sheet and put back on the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.


The filling is Dulce de Leche or caramel.

Which I am combining with toasted coconut.

10. Spread a generous amount of dulce de leche on one cookie and topped that with the toasted coconut.

My little kitchen diva

It is just not me who loves to dabble in the kitchen.  My little girl also loves trying her hands at making cookies from time to time.

The little chef

Well, starting early is not bad.  These pictures were taken almost a year ago when I started on my journey into the baking world.  I took my little girl with me on this amazing exploration of the baking dimension and we both had a great time learning the ropes of the trade.  We started with simple ready-mix cookies where the only add-on were water and the garnishing.  Now, we’re baking real cookies…

Magic in the middle cookies

Magic in the middle cookies

My favorite cookies to bake as of late…has also become very popular with friends and colleagues.

Here’s the link to the recipe: http://asweeterthing.com/2011/11/17/magic-in-the-middle-cookies/

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