Dolce de Leche + Alfajores

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Someone introduced this cookie to me and, although I’ve often seen them at restaurants, the recipe seemed far too difficult to mess with. It involved Dolce de Leche and I wasn’t going to just use the store-bought jarred stuff. If I was going to do this, I needed to commit. A solid 4 hours for cooking time and an additional 2 for the cookies.

Let’s think. I just finished my last class of college ever. I have no finals, and as of now no full time job to report to. I’d say today was a perfect day for a 6+ hour baking spree. Not to mention I had a fellow baker in my company so we decided to take the challenge.

Dolce de Leche

– 8 cups whole milk

– 2 1/2 cups sugar

– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or bourbon (Yes, I’m 21)

Heat all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally for the first 1.5 hours but as the milk reduces and darkens you have to stir it more frequently. If the milk doesn’t seem to be hot enough (it should be very slowly bubbling) you can increase the heat for a little bit. Be sure to keep it mostly at medium until the very end. BE PATIENT. This will take a solid 3.5-4 hours.

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Leave the Dolce de Leche in the pot to cool and start on the cookies:

 

CoOoOkiez

– 1 cup cornstarch

– 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

– 1/3 cup granulated sugar

– 2 large egg yolks

– 1 tablespoon brandy

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1 cup Dolce de Leche at room temperature

– Powdered sugar for dusting

    1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl and mix until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks,  brandy, and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Now add the dry ingredients. Mix until there are no white pockets of flour.
    2. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a smooth disk, and wrap it tightly. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.

 

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness (the dough will crack but can be easily patched back together).
  2. Place the cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets, 12 per sheet and at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake until the cookies are a very light brown on the bottom edge, about 12 to 14 minutes. (The cookies will remain pale on top.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Flip half of the cookies upside down and gently spread about 2 teaspoons of the dolce de leche on each. Place a second cookie on top and gently press to create a sandwich. Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.
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  4. Press the cookie sandwich just enough for the dolce de leche to start oozing out of the sides (caramel is one of the few times where it is acceptable to use the otherwise disgusting word ‘ooze’)
  5. Roll the sides of the cookies in a shallow bowl of toasted coconut or sprinkles or chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

    Love From Lauren,

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