Alfajores

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).

Cookies of the night

Cookies of the night

 

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.

I made my cookies Jewish to celebrate Hanukah ;)

I made my cookies Jewish to celebrate Hanukah ;)


The somoa recipe can be found over at averiecooks

Adapted from chowhound

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Combine the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together
  2. 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).
  3. Gradually add in the flour mixture, keeping the mixer at low speed until just incorporated. Don’t overmix
  4. Place the dough on some plastic wrap and shape it into a smooth disk. Place in the fridge for about an hour to chill.
  5. Preheat oven to 350
  6. 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**
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Place on a wire rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes
  10. 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
  11. Put cookies together to make little cookie sandwiches.
  12. 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