Today, I got a taste of heaven. Alfajores give me the kinda sensation that makes me wonder if anything on earth could be better. And I doubt that anything is. Heehee. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Maaaaybe…
A close friend of mine introduced me to some goodies from her trip to Argentina, and those Alfajores made me feel as though I hadn’t lived! They were the Havanna brand, covered in chocolate. The dulce de leche is what truly blew my mind. I’ve always been a caramel lover, so it was truly love at first bite.
As expected, I finished all my Havannas and I resorted to baking (read FAKING) them myself. The dulce de leche was epic. I literally ate it out of the ramekin. But my cookies were hard. Bleh. It was yummy, but not an Alfajor.
Today, however, I was brave enough to try it again. And it was amazeballs. Woooooooo child!
I took one bite and had to sit down. My knees couldn’t handle the intense flavour, shaking (like a Polaroid picture, ha). Hmmmmm yum!
1 cup butter (or baking margarine)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup icing sugar
Pinch of salt
Dulce de leche filling
1 tin of condensed milk
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Set the oven to 190 degrees (Celsius) for the dulce de leche. Pour condensed milk in a small ramekin or oven-safe dish. Mix in the sea salt. Place that small dish in a larger one, and pour in boiling water, till it reaches the half-way point of the condensed milk dish.
Cover the condensed milk dish with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 2-3 hours. Check it every hour to see if it’s baking and browning.
In the meantime, mix all the ingredients in a food processor. If you don’t have one, get a wooden spoon and start off the with the butter – beat it till its a little soft and fluffy. Then sift in the flour and sugar (leave a little for dusting), little by little. It should not be too soft and fluffy, like the pic below.
If that’s the case, sift in a little more flour. It should be hard enough to roll into a ball. Once you’ve done that, wrap it in plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.
By this time, your dulce de leche should be done. Remove it from the oven, stir it took its nice and smooth, as you add the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Leave it to cool.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it onto a clean surface. Punch in the cookie shapes and pop it into the oven (on a greased tray, of course). It should take about 15 minutes in there. And there you have your shortbread.
Sandwich 2 cookies with dulce de leche. Squeeze, and dip the sides into the shredded coconut. Sift some icing sugar on it. Close your eyes, bite in, and voila!
The recipe may be a little wordy, but it’s so simple. I could make these on the regular… had I not been health-conscious (ish)
Once my lovely cookies had been dusted with icing sugar, my lovely friend came for a visit. She introduced me to these cookies and gave me the thumbs up on my improvement from my first attempt. Yay. She also came bearing gifts, more sweets from Argentina 😉
So blessed. My friends know how real this sweet tooth of mine is. Heehee.