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:

 

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– 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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Caramel Apple Pie Cookies (WHAT.)

I apologize for the lack of posts…I haven’t been able to find my SLR camera charger for weeks so I have only been getting unimpressive and imbalanced pictures from my point-and-shoot (sorry canon.) I promise to step up the game once I invest in a new charger. Black & white is to avoid the horrible colors that came out.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. What better way to observe the ultimate day of repentance than to be in the kitchen, fasting and baking caramel apple pie cookies? Pretty much any other household activity would have been better, but alas I was hosting a break-fast meal and needed to deliver desserts up to par.

I did, however, make the recipe a little easier and use refrigerated pie crust. Despite my disgust towards store bought baked goods, these turned out fine and everyone enjoyed a taste of fall.

Adapted from The Food Pusher blog

– refrigerated pie crust

– 1 cup brown sugar

– 3/4 cup flour

– 3/4 cup oats

– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/3 cup butter cut into chunks

– 1 /2 cups apple pie filling cut up into small pieces

– 1 jar of caramel sauce or homemade caramel

– powdered sugar for decoration
Roll the crust to be 1/4- 1/2 inch thick.

Then, using a cookie cutter of whatever shape you prefer, cut the dough and place “cookies” on two cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.

1) preheat oven to 375

2) Prepare topping: In a large bowl, mix all of the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Add butter chunks and mix with your fingers until all the butter is incorporated and it begins to crumble. Set aside ½ cup of this crumb mixture for topping later.

3) Stir chopped apple pie filling into remaining crumble mixture, just until mixed.

4) Drop a tablespoon of apple mixture onto the middle of each dough cutout. With your finger, flatten the top of the apple mixture a little bit. Using a fork, place about ½ teaspoon of the reserved crumble mixture on top of each cookie.

and then make them pretty. Drizzle caramel on top. Wait for the cookies to cool completely and then sprinkle powdered sugar.

It is late and I’m going to bed. Don’t worry grandma, I’m getting plenty of sleep! 🙂