We are really excited to start something new for Feta & Arepa… guest posts! For over a year now, we’ve been cooking, writing, photographing and challenging ourselves in the kitchen and sharing our culinary adventures (blissful successes and a couple odd failures) with you, loving each step of the way. Through this process, we have both been really lucky to have wonderful family and friends who are really talented in the kitchen, and whom we are constantly learning from. So instead of keeping their divine creations to themselves, leaving us longing for the day they invite us over again, we want them to start sharing their wisdom (and of course secrets) with all of us to keep the learning and the appetite going.
Our first guest post comes from my good friend Lorena. In the past year, we have shared our love for the world of food and gorgeous photography. She has patiently guided me and mentored me into the world of food photography :) (From the photos, I think you can understand why I would want to learn from her!! YUMMMMMMMMYYYYYYY)
Lorena take it away…
I am very happy to be here sharing this recipe! I am sure you are going to enjoy it. It’s easy, fast, and delicious. Basically, an alfajor is based on two cookies held in a sandwich with a filling – dulce de leche – and occasionally a cover.
The alfajores are a typical snack in Uruguay (and Argentina as well) for the teatime; it’s by far the most popular sweet. We are completely crazy about dulce de leche and we use it as much as we can. It’s really hard for me to name one Uruguayan dessert or sweet without dulce de leche: alfajores, crepes, cakes, ice-cream flavour, pastries, rolls, just name it and we have it! And, of course, since the demand is huge there are a lot of brands, my favourite… Lapataia, it’s just amazing.
But for this kind of recipe we need a confectionery dulce de leche, which is thick enough to keep the shape and control. As it’s not very easy to find in countries were dulce de leche is not such an important matter, so we’ll fake it. If you can’t find dulce de leche where you live you can make it using condensed milk (like Feta & Arepa’s recipe).
As the cookies of these alfajores are made using corn flour the result is a soft and delicate pastry that goes really well with this filling.
Here is the recipe:
ALFAJORES DE MAICENA – CORNFLOUR ALFAJORES
- Confectionary Dulce De Leche:
- 400g (14 oz) homemade Dulce De Leche (or store bought)
- 2 tbsp warm milk
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 200 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 110 g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cognac (optional – I didn’t use it)
- 1 tbsp of lemon zest
- 260 g corn flour
- 170 g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup grated and sweetened coconut
- Make the fake confectionary dulce de leche: Bring the dulce the leche to boil and add 2 tbsp of cornflour dissolved in warm milk. Stir for a couple of minutes in low heat. Let it rest until is cold, ideally one day.
- Make the Alfajores: Sift the cornflour, flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Add the cognac and lemon zest.
- Using a spatula fold in the dry ingredients mixing well, if it’s too dry add some egg white.
- Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling-film and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of 4-5 cm.
- Cut into 4 cm rounds and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 160 C degrees (325 Fahrenheit) for 10-15 minutes or until done. The cookies should be dry but not golden.
- Assembling the Alfajores: When the cookies are cool, spread de dulce de leche in one and top it with another, press gently as the cookies are delicate.
- Roll the alfajor in the coconut.
Variations: you can do as many variations in the filling and cover as you can imagine, just bear in mind that you need a thick filling (peanut butter, nutella), and chocolate or fondant covered could be a good replace for the coconut.