Havanna-style Alfajores

Recipe byClémence Gossett

I’ve been grounded twice in my life, once for sneaking out to the movies with a much older boy and, a few years before that, stealing and eating all 12 of the alfajores that my Mom brought back from a trip to Argentina. If you’ve never had the privilege of eating  this version of the South American sandwich cookie (the punishment was totally worth it), you can try making them yourself! Thank you to our chef John Pitblado for the sweet inspiration and Nan Kohler from Grist & Toll for the whole wheat flour (we used her Rouge de Bordeaux, which we carry at the school) that creates the perfect cookie texture.

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Ingredients

Havanna-style Alfajores

1 Tbsp Brandy or cognac
2 tsps Espresso powder (or instant coffee)
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Almond extract
6 ounces Butter, salted is better but unsalted will do
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
Zest of half an orange
2 Eggs
1-1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
2 Tbsps Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 can Dulce de leche
For coating: 1 lb. Chocolate, dark or semi sweet
2 Tbsps Coconut oil

Directions

  1. For the cookie dough, cream together the brandy, coffee, extract, butter, sugar and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is uniform. Add the dry ingredients all at once, then turn the machine back on and mix until just combined. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop a couple Tablespoons of dough into mounds (maximum 6 cookies per tray). Wet your palms slightly and press down to make flat discs of cookie dough. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool.
  3. Spread a couple of teaspoons of dulce de leche over half the cookies (I like spreading it over the tops of the cookies) and sandwich with another cookie. Freeze these while you make the chocolate coating.
  4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave or over a double boiler, stirring the entire time. Grab the cold cookies from the freezer and, using two forks, dip the entire cookie sandwiches into the chocolate. Tap them and place them back on the cold cookie sheet, freezing the cookies until solid.