These brandy filled, almond flaked treats are really something else. Apparently a common pastry in South America, these Alfajores are available at the gorgeous Spanish stall at the local Tamahere markets. On our visit last weekend, my friend was totally sold on the delicate bite and vowed to give them a go at home.
And so we did.
She did the hard work – the mixing, kneading and rolling – while I, with my one good hand, spread each half with caramel and rolled the sandwiched cookie in almonds.
These were just perfect for
dessert dinner with a cup of steaming, brandy infused espresso. Nothing like a dash of liqueur to dull the collarbone pain.
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cognac or Brandy
2 1/2 cups cornflour (aka cornstach, as you would use for thickening sauces)
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Dulce de leche *
To make the dough:
Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the remaining ingredients, except the dulce de leche and almond flakes, until well blended. Knead on a floured work surface, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and not sticking. Let rest for 15 minutes.
To make the cookies:
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut into 2-inch rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 150°C oven for 20 minutes. When cool, spread some dulce de leche on the bottom of half the cookies and press another cookie on top, allowing some of the dulce de leche to squeeze from the sides. Roll the sides in the almond flakes until the sides are covered. Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top.
*Dulce de leche is a South American form of caramel. Alternatively make your own by boiling sugar, butter and cream, or use a can of store bought caramel.