Friday, April 7, 2017

Alfajores

Hey it's been a while...but not as long as the amount of time I had this can of dulce de leche in my pantry wasting away *not* being in these cookies.


Alfajores are somewhat a cross between a snickerdoodle and a sugar cookie. With cream of tartar, the flavor reminds me of snickerdoodles, and, come to think of it, rolling them in cinnamon sugar sounds amazing.


They're crunchy out of the oven but the next day soften to a delectable chew and become one with the dulce de leche. You can eat them the first day you make them, but save at least one to try on day 2. That's when I thought they were at their peak deliciousness!


And, even though these are sandwich cookies (code for: lots of work) they are less than most. I bought premade dulce de leche so there was no prep for the filling, and the cookies are simple as can be with not too many ingredients.


Make them today! These are going in my file to make again, which is saying a lot considering they don't have any chocolate.

Alfajores
Yield: 32 2-inch sandwich cookies

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, very soft (just leave it out overnight if you can think of it, microwave it if not)
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • [2 tablespoons brandy--the recipe calls for this, but I didn't have it so I used a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract]
  • optional: cinnamon sugar for a snickerdoodly treat
  • 1 can prepared dulce de leche (look near the sweetened condensed milk at the supermarket)
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F or 300 degrees F convection. Put racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven, prepare baking sheets with parchment or ungreased foil.
  2. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until smooth and well blended, but not fluffy (by hand or with a mixer). Add egg and brandy and/or vanilla and mix until smooth. Fold or gently beat in the flour mixture gradually until completely incorporated.
  4. On one of your prepared baking sheets, press all of the dough into a square about an inch tall. Cut into 8 strips, then cut the other way to make 64 equally sized pieces using a bench scraper or table knife. Roll each piece into a ball, place on baking sheet at least an inch and a half away from other dough. Press each ball into a round about 3/8-1/2 inch tall using the bottom of a glass or a mason jar lid insert...anything flat will do. 
  5. Bake cookies 14-16 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and checking for doneness the last few minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned and firm around the edges, softer and paler in the middle. Cool on the sheets, then remove and bake another batch.
  6. Once the cookies are completely cool, spread about a teaspoon of dulce de leche on half of the cookies and sandwich with another cookie (of a similar size if yours vary a bit like mine!). It helps to rotate the cookies as you press the filling to get even distribution.
  7. Let rest to firm up a bit, then enjoy or store overnight (wax paper between layers to keep them clean from dulce drips) for day-two delightfulness!