December 12, 2011

2011 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Citrus Alfajores

'Tis the season...to eat cookies. 
Duh.
Well maybe not just eat cookies, but it's not a bad idea!


So you can imagine my excitement when I came across the posting by 
Lyndsay at Love and Olive Oil & Julie at The Little Kitchen about 
The 2011 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. 

The idea: Have several food bloggers from across the United States sign up to take part of the cookie swap (600 to be exact!) have them each bake 3 dozen cookies and send a dozen to 3 other bloggers.  
Then sit back, relax, and wait for your very own 3 dozen cookies to arrive at your door!! 

I figured: 
Hey. 
I can bake  
and  
I'm pretty good at sitting back  
and  
I'm pretty friggin' spectacular at eating cookies. 
Win. Win. Win.

So I put on my apron, got out my rolling pin and decided on a variation of my absolute favorite cookie: Peruvian Alfajores!  

Alfajores are a biscuit-y, slightly sweet wafer/cookie filled with dulce de leche and rolled in powdered sugar.  They are very common in Peru and many other Latin countries with each one having their own variation on the same basic cookie. Growing up, I LOVED when my family would bring these from Peru when they'd visit us.  I have not been able to readily find these in any bakeries so I decided to start making them myself.


But this was the first annual cookie swap. 
I couldn't just make any ol' alfajor. 
It had to be bad ass. It had to be unique. 
I had to bring my "A" game.
So here you go:  
Citrus Alfajores.





Why citrus? Well, I had been craving lemon poppyseed cake and alfajores for over a month now and decided to mesh the two together.  Imagine an alfajor and a lemon fell in love and decided to "take their relationship to the next level"...
The result:
Deliciousness.

So I modified my original recipe, made sure they tasted fabulous, bundled up my creations in wax paper and bubble wrap lined Christmas tins and mailed them off :)



Home Made...Just for You!!


I'd also like to thank Jessica at The Novice Chef for her delicious Peanut Butter Cream'wiches, Heather at Farmgirl Gourmet for the Dark Chocolate Caramel Bit cookies, and Rebekah at The Cooking Vent for her Gingersnap Cream Cheese Sandwich cookies. They really made my day!!




Citrus Alfajores
(Makes about 36 2inch 2-sided cookies)
Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups white sugar
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (or rum/rum extract)
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lime (or lemon) zest
1 jar (about 12 oz) dulce de leche
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 335 degrees.
2.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Wisk together flour, baking soda & powder, salt, & cornstarch. Set aside.
4.  Beat butter & sugar together until creamy and fluffy...about 4 minutes with a mixer (using paddle attachment).
5.  Slowly add each egg yolk, waiting until each one is completely incorporated before adding the next.
6.  Add vanilla, lemon, and almond (rum) extracts, and orange & lime zest with last egg yolk.
7.  Gently fold in dry ingredients making a crumbly dough.  It may appear really dry. This is normal.
8.  Press dough together into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours.
9.  Roll out dough to about 1/4inch thickness using a rolling pin and very small amounts of cornstarch to prevent sticking. Do not add to much cornstarch because this will dry out the dough.
10.  Using a 2inch round cookie cutter cut out rounds.  Transfer rounds to prepared cookie sheets.
11.  Bake at 335 degrees for 10 minutes making sure to not allow cookies to develop any brownness.  This cookie is supposed to look pale in color!
12.  Remove cookies immediately to a wire cooling rack.
13.  Once cool, dab about a dime/nickel sized dollop of dulce de leche in middle of cookie and lightly press until dulce reaches the edges of the cookie.  Do not press to hard as these cookies are very delicate!
14.  Roll in powdered sugar covering all sides and lightly dust off excess.
15.  Enjoy!!!

*These cookies are EXCELLENT with tea or coffee...and addictive....don't say I didn't warn you!!!








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5 comments:

  1. The cookies were fantastic! And I loved the cookie tin as well.

    I kind of have a thing for cookie tins.

    Thanks again!

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  2. These cookies are awesome. I am from Ecuador and had been looking for a good recipe for alfahores and thanks to you I found it! Thanks!:)

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you found this recipe, too! I love sharing recipes that evoke memories of home :) You are very welcome, Enjoy!!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Making these alfajores again for my daughter's 5th birthday:))))

    ReplyDelete