More Argentine cuisine coming up!
As I mentioned in my previous post on Pepitas (Butter cookies with quince jelly topping), I want to feature more Argentine cuisine (be it main dishes, appetizers, pastries or desserts). This is especially so since I have been living in Buenos Aires for the last 2 1/2 years, since I first re-located here in April 2010. (If you don’t know why I moved halfway round the globe from Singapore to live in South America, everything is explained in the About Me section.)
The first time I featured an Argentine dessert was a long time ago, when I did a post on Chocotorta (a cake made of layers of chocolate biscuits alternating with layers of dulce de leche mixed with milk cream). A few weeks back, I wrote about Argentina’s favourite sweet sauce – Dulce de Leche – and its terribly large influence in Argentine desserts, snacks and anything remotely sweet, and how I wanted to incorporate it in my future featured recipes.
Last night, after an hour of studying financial statements, I got a little bored, and wanted a short break. So guess what? I got up from reading about Balance Sheets and Income Statements, and headed straight to the kitchen for a therapeutic session, with flour, butter, and sugar. And, of course, dulce de leche. I was going to make dulce de leche alfajores – for the first time in my life.
What are Alfajores?
Alfajores are generally very commonly found in Latin America, and are characteristically round in nature, made of two baked round cookies sandwiching a sweet sauce, and may be coated in chocolate or icing sugar. The sweet sauce used as a filling is typically dulce de leche, but other filling such as fruits or chocolate mousse may also be used. At times, alfajores can also be coated at the sides with shredded coconut stuck to the dulce de leche. Usually, these coconut-coated alfajores are called “Alfajores de Maicena” – which literally means alfajores made with corn starch. I made alfajores which look similar to these “Alfajores de Maicena” but my recipe is simpler and does not include corn starch.
They turned out to be a HUGE SUCCESS!!!! Excellent for a first attempt at a very traditional Argentine snack.
DULCE DE LECHE ALFAJORES (Makes around 50 alfajores)
1) 200g of butter
2) 300g of self-raising flour
3) 80g of white sugar
4) 300g of dulce de leche
5) 50g of shredded coconut
1) Melt butter
2) Dissolve sugar in melted butter
3) Mix sugar butter mixture with self-raising flour until homogenously mixed
4) Knead cookie dough with your hands on a cool, flat surface, using a rolling pin to flatten it to 0.7 cm thickness
5) Use a round cookie cutter to cut out round pieces
6) Arrange the cookie dough pieces on a greased baking tray
7) Bake at 200 deg cel for 8 – 10 minutes or until they turn slightly golden brown
8) Spread dulce de leche on one cookie, and cover it with another cookie
9) Coat the sides of the cookie sandwich (the parts where dulce de leche is exposed) with shredded coconut