Wahoo! Yipee! At last I’m no longer a blogspot! I need to give a big thank you to Cre8d Design. I couldn’t have worked with a better design company to create this new blog! They are so very talented and amazing at what they do. They were so friendly and efficient to work with and they created exactly what I was looking for. They built this site from scratch, so it was customized to be just what I wanted (can you tell I like the Martha Stewart blue and fancy things?). To any of you looking for a blog or website designer I would highly recommend Cre8d Design! You won’t be disappointed. Please have a look around the new Cooking Classy. My new favorite pages, the Recipes and Recipe Box. My recipes finally have some real organization to them! And with the Recipe Box from Ziplist, you can save recipes, not just from my site but many others (such as Martha Stewart, Gooseberry Patch and Simply Recipes). It has other wonderful features, such as creating a shopping list, so be sure to check it out. Some other wonderful and highly needed features are the print button and pin button along with each recipe. Now you can print recipes without getting pages of unnecessary images and information. You can also search my site with a more friendly Google search box which is displayed in the upper right. Also, the site is now configured to automatically update facebook and Twitter (I hardly ever updated them in the past), so please follow along!
I’ve been posting to Cooking Classy for just over a year and I’m so grateful for the way it has grown and for the readership from those of you following. This blog has unintentionally turned into a work from home job for me. It is a job I so passionately love, which I am also very grateful for. I hope you all continue to follow along and love what you find and create from Cooking Classy.
Seeing as a celebration was in order for such an exciting website launch, I decided it was time to post Alfajores. Many of you may be asking, what are Alfajores? Alfajores are a traditional cookie found in Argentina, other parts of Latin America and Spain. I discovered these gourmet confections thanks to my Husband whom served a 2 year LDS Mission in Argentina. When we first got married I really wanted to impress him and make some fancy Argentine dishes and these were one of them. I have loved them ever since. They most definitely are one of my favorite kinds of cookies. I can’t understand why these delicious, caramel, coconut and lemon flavored, shortbread like cookies aren’t popular here in the United States. These cookies melt in your mouth! Some people refer to them as Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies but shouldn’t we give them their proper name? Besides it’s so much more fun to say, alpha-HORE-ays, than that other long name given. I made this recipe to be a little bit more than the traditional Alfajor. I added in some extracts and chose to add various toppings rather than just going with a plain, un-coated Alfajor. Much of the time you will find them rolled in coconut (which is definitely one of my favorite topping choices) but I like to give people options, and how could I leave out sprinkles? Now let’s celebrate, and go make Alfajores!
Yield: 2 dozen
- 1 1/4 cups cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 Tbsp butter , softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp coconut extract , optional (use 1/2 tsp for more coconut flavor)
- a few tsp lemon juice , as needed
- 1 can Dulce de Leche (I've used homemade before too)
- Various toppings for coating*
In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Mix in lemon zest. Add in egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until well blended. Mix in vanilla and coconut extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined and dough starts to come together, adding a few tsp lemon juice if needed (dough will be fairly dry, I didn't need to add it but I tried adding a little bit to the second half of the dough to compare cookie texture. Just note it will increase the lemon flavor in the cookie). Shape dough into a ball, cover ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour until dough is easy enough to work with.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll chilled dough out between to large sheets of parchment or wax paper to 1/6-inch thickness (I worked with half the dough at a time). Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (sometimes I use a heart shape instead), cut dough into circles then using a wide knife (such as a Santoku knife), slide knife along the bottom of the cutout cookie (or you can just pick them up, I just always found I get less breakage using a knife) and transfer cookie to a Silpat lined or buttered cookie sheets (fitting 15 per sheet) bake in preheated oven for 10 - 11 minutes. Allow cookies 5 minutes to cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then spread a layer of Dulce de Leche over the bottom side of one cookie, then sandwich to the bottom side of another cookie. Spread a thin layer of Dulce de Leche around the round edge of the cookie, then roll in desired topping. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
*Here are a few of the toppings I like to use:
sweetened coconut flakes (I like to grind it a little bit in the food processor to a smaller size, which is an optional step)
toasted coconut flakes (I used a bag of toasted desiccated coconut I had)
finely chopped pecans, toasted if desired
grated white, milk or semi-sweet chocolate
Alternately you don't need to coat the edges at all, you can simply just fill the centers with Dulce de Leche. If desired you can dip to coat or drizzle cookies in white, milk or semi-sweet chocolate.