20 May 2011 § 2 Comments

I love it when people give me their recipes – handwritten or a recipe torn out of a magazine. It shows they took the time to think of me. There’s something in it that harks back to a different age: a time before texts, Tweets and celebrity TV chefs.

I was thrilled when a Bolivian family friend, who knows I have a soft spot for South American sweets, gave me a recipe for alfajorcitos. To complete the South American connection she consulted her Argentinian friend for the recipe. She came to my house, armed with not only a beautifully handwritten recipe, but also the maizena (cornstarch) AND the dulce de leche, so I really had no choice but to make them.

¡Gracias Ana Maria!

The alfajores turned out well. Although they tasted a bit too metallic I had used heaped teaspoons of baking powder, instead of level ones. Also time the baking as a minute or 2 over they will brown and they are meant to be pale. The recipe is in metric as I’m worried if I convert it, it will not be accurate, and baking is all about accuracy which is why I’m not a good baker.

Here’s the alfajore recipe:

  • 250 gr softened butter
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac (optional)
  • 300 gr cornstarch
  • 200 gr flour
  • ½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • Lemon zest from ½ a lemon
  • 1 cup shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

Mix the cornstarch, flour, bicarbonate and baking powder.

Beat the butter with the sugar, add the egg yolks one by one. Continue beating and add the cognac, and little by little the flour mixture.

Add the vanilla essence and the lemon zest. form into a ball and roll out on a surface that is dusted with cornstarch. Use a pastry cutter or a small glass to cut into small circles.

Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully and remove if they look like they are browning.

When cool, spread dulce de leche, then roll the edge in shredded coconut. If you can wait, this requires considerable willpower, these joyful little cookies taste better a day or two after baking.

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