December is great. Yes because of the holidays and presents and MY BIRTHDAY, but also because there are tons of holiday get-togethers, which means more (unhealthy) cooking.
This Saturday, (aka the 7th night of Hanukah) my friend Rachel hosted a cookie swap at her apartment. We pretty much decided to have a cookie swap because she got a real Christmas tree and decorated the hell out of her apt, so all of my friends requested some sort of small party/gathering to take advantage of reveling in Christmas décor. Aesthetic matters my friends. About 15 people came to the cookie swap which meant that I ate about 8 different cookies, then passed out from a sugar crash while watching Elf. All in all, a very successful night. And to top it all off, my friend Avery and Matt bought me a chocolate ganache cake and Chimay beer for my 21st birthday which was incredibly sweet (and delicious).
Being ambitious, I didn’t want to make any regular run of the mill cookie. I wanted something elegant, something delicious, and unique. I looked at maybe 30 different cookie recipes before I decided on two of them. Somoas and Alfajores (a popular Argentinian cookie). I ended up choosing two because I’m very indecisive and two types of cookies are better than one. These cookies are also vastly different from one another, one being a gooey mass of caramel and chocolate, the other, flaky and delicate with a dulce de leche center.
Adapted from chowhound
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cognac (or brandy)
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Dulce de leche
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together
- Cream sugar and room temperature butter together with stand or hand held mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks, cognac, and vanilla extract until combined (about 30 seconds).
- Gradually add in the flour mixture, keeping the mixer at low speed until just incorporated. Don’t overmix
- Place the dough on some plastic wrap and shape it into a smooth disk. Place in the fridge for about an hour to chill.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface ( I like to tape down some parchment paper onto the table and work on my dough there for easy cleanup) and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness**
- Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, stamp out as many cookies as you can. Place the cookie cut outs on some baking pans lined with parchment paper at least ½ inch apart
- Place cookies in the oven for about 12-14 minutes. The top will remain pale, but the bottoms of the cookies should be a pale golden color.
- Place on a wire rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes
- Turn half the cookies upside down and gently apply dulce de leche. I used about a teaspoon for my cookies since they were a bit smaller- basically just eye it
- Put cookies together to make little cookie sandwiches.
- Using a sieve, dust with powdered sugar
**This dough is super crumbly, so if your dough cracks while you're rolling it out don't worry, it's easily patched and re rolled