Alfajores a la Tattoo

by Michelle on December 20, 2010

Well, it’s December 20th and I’m starting to run out of holiday steam. I think my Sunday afternoon of cookie baking took a little bit more out of me then I expected and I’m having a hard time waking up today. I need to a nap, a l.o.n.g, snuggled-under-warm-quilts kind of nap!

I did have fun making my cookies though and I finally used the cookie stencils I picked up in the sale bin about five years ago! I had forgotten about them but after some digging I did find them, still in the packaging no less! The stencils were so easy to use, except I do wish they were somewhat clear because it was difficult to center the stencil being I couldn’t see the cookie underneath. But in the long run, stenciling is a super easy, quick decorating method and the cookies turned out so cute! Stenciling is definitely something I will be doing in the future.

As far as the Alfajores, well they are delicious even though I was lazy and didn’t make the Dulce de Leche! But Mr. Tastebuds wanted Nutella filling and being I was in a pre-holiday get it done mode, I sure wasn’t going to argue with him! Sometimes he does make life a bit easier for me. Please note I said “sometimes”.

Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Cookie Sandwiches)
Recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine

1 2/3 cups cornstarch
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
10 TBL unsalted butter, softened
1 TBL cognac or brandy
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 egg yolks
Canned dulce de leche, for filling cookies (I used Nutella)

Heat oven to 350°. In a bowl, sift together cornstarch, flour, and baking powder; set aside. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add cognac and zest; beat. Add yolks one at a time; beat. Add dry ingredients; mix. Transfer dough to a floured surface, knead briefly; divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough to 1/4″ thickness. Using a 2 1/2″ round cookie cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper—lined baking sheets, spaced 1″ apart. Reroll scraps and repeat. Bake until golden, 12–15 minutes. Let cool. Flip half the cookies over; top each with 1 heaping tsp. dulce de leche. Top with remaining cookies. Makes 20 cookies.

Dulce de Leche
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

1 quart whole milk
12 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.

Stenciling or Tattoos

Powdered Sugar
Cocoa

Equipment needed:
Stencils
Tape
Parchment Paper
Fine Mesh Strainer

1. Bake cookies. Set aside to thoroughly cool.
2. Tape off areas of the stencil to isolate the stencils you are going to use.

3. Place stencil on cookie, careful of placement.

4. Put some powdered sugar or cocoa in the fine mesh strainer and holding the strainer above the stencil, gently tap the strainer and heavily sprinkle the powdered sugar or cocoa until the stencil is evenly filled.

5. Remove stencil by gently lifting it up. Do not slide it off towards the side as it will smear the tattoo.
6. Repeat for the next cookie.

Our Christmas Cookie Crew:
Tiffany of The Nesting Project
Judy of No Fear Entertaining
Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen
Courtney of Coco Cooks
Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook
Kelly of Sass & Veracity
Michelle of BigBlackDog
RJ of Flamingo Musings
Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench
Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes

AllRightsReserved@BigBlackDog

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Comments

  • holly December 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I love the stencils!! Cute cookies:)

  • Mags@OtherSideofFifty December 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

    They’re beautiful! I love the stencil work…it adds a very pretty touch.

  • Andrea Meyers December 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Oh how pretty! The stencils add a nice touch and I’ll never turn down Nutella. Nice combination.

  • SMITH BITES December 21, 2010 at 10:48 am

    so pretty and agree that the stencils send these over the top – not that alfajores need any push to the top!

  • Trix December 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    You had me at tattoo! Lovely cookies. And your dogs … so sweet. Beautiful. My best friend had a Rottie growing up and she was the sweetest thing – so big, yet she didn’t know it and she’d try to sit in my lap and give me kisses even though she was bigger than I was at the time!

  • Coco Cooks December 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Nutella is just as Yummy. Love the stencils.

  • Sophie January 3, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Waw, Michelle! These tasty cookies look so festive & well decorated!! Thanks for another grand recipe of yours truly!!

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