Two summers ago, I went to Peru with my parents and a cousin. It was a blast. I enjoy traveling with my parents. It is meaningful to create memories with them in new and exciting places. We went to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, among other places.
We also ate delicious food. I walked so much that I think it was one of the few vacations where I didn't gain weight. I also got food poisoning and threw up multiple times. Being ill was also memorable. I threw up all over the inside of a taxi. We gave that taxi driver a pretty big tip.
My dad spend two years in Argentina as a young man. From this experience, he has a penchant for dulce de leche and alfajores. As a child, we would occasionally eat dulce de leche on french bread with thick hot chocolate for breakfast. It was a wonderful treat.
In Peru, we stopped at every bakery we passed and bought at least one alfajore. This recipe came from the Food Network. I made it as directed. I made my own dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk because I'm hard core. I actually couldn't find it in my grocery store.
The ingredients are 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups dulce de leche, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg. I made my dulce de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk.
The night before making these cookies, I covered the can of sweetened condensed milk with water and simmered it for two hours. I keep adding water so that the can was always covered. After two hours, I let the water cool before removing the can.
To make the cookies, I combined the butter, flour, sugar, and salt.
I let the dough refrigerate for over half an hour. I then rolled it out on a floured surface. It was an eighth of an inch thick.
I cut two and a half inch circles from the dough. The recipes said to use a two inch cookie cutter, but I used what I had.
I laid the circles on parchment paper and baked them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
For the filling, I combined the sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
I spread about a teaspoon and a half of dulce de leche on the bottom of one cookie. I sandwiched the filling with another cookie, bottom side down.
I rolled the edges of the alfajores in dried, sweetened coconut flakes. Someone painted henna on my left hand.
These were good, but I must admit they didn't meet my expectations. I think I needed to boil the sweetened condensed milk for longer because the dulce de leche was very runny. The flavor of the dulce de leche was fantastic. It was spicy and aromatic. The next time I make alfajores, I'll add this same spice blend.
I wasn't crazy about the cookie. This is a shortbread recipe. I like shortbread, but the alfajores I have eaten in the past were more tender. Other recipes I saw online had cornstarch and cream of tarter. I think this would have helped me achieve the texture I was looking for.
These were still good. The dulce de leche was devine. I also liked to chewy and sweet flaked coconut.
Overall, these were good cookies, but I think they could have been better.