The Citybeat Festival of Beers is happening on Saturday April 19th in front of the Lafayette Hotel. Its from 1 or 2 pm – 5 pm (depending on whether you want to pay for that extra hour of VIP-ness). They have over 100 craft beers, food and live music, for a beer list click here.
Ironside Fish & Oyster opens today in Little Italy. They have $1 dollar oyster happy hour from 3-6pm everyday (HAPPINESS) but as they hail from the Craft & Commerce group they also strictly enforce the no-ketchup thing…
Nine Space is having a progressive sale where you save $20 if you spend $50, $40 if you spend $100 and $60 if you spend $120. Also known as why wouldn’t you just spend $120 instead of $100 since they end up being the same price?! I bought these amazing Turkish Fouta Towels which I became obsessed with. They are super lightweight but really absorbent and become softer with each wash.
So these are probably one of my favorite cookies EVER. Top 3 for sure. If you like shortbread and you like dulce de leche these are going to be quite the treat. Also bonus points if you find the kitty creepily lurking behind the cookies in the pictures.
It is very popular in Latin American cuisine and used in many desserts. I personally am not a fan of normal caramel but LOVE dulce de leche and have yet to find someone who does not like it. You can cook the dulce de leche to different levels of doneness so the final product can be anywhere from a golden beige colour to a very deep dark colour. In Brazil where it’s called ‘doce de leite’ you also have a firm version that you can slice into sections, kind of how you have the normal cranberry sauce and the jellied solid one. But much better than cranberry sauce :)
Fear not though, if you do not want to boil cans or cannot procure a Mexican abuela to cook it over the stovetop for hours you can also just purchase a can of dulce de leche (also called ‘cajeta’) at the Hispanic section of your local grocery store. Cannot vouch this will work everywhere but here in San Diego have found it at both Von’s and Ralph’s.
These cookies originate from Argentina and were made especially popular by the Havanna Cafes which in some countries like Chile and Argentina are nearly as numerous as Starbucks. The way we became familiar with them is that many people in Brazil ski in Argentina and Chile and as in Brazilian culture it is almost required for you to bring back gifts for all your family and friends from your travels, we would occasionally end up with boxes of amazing Havanna alfajores. These could be dipped in dark chocolate, dipped in white chocolate or covered in powdered sugar (my personal favorite) and they were presented in a pretty box, individually wrapped with gold or silver foil paper.
We also did our fair share or bringing back boxes of Havanna alfajores or cans of their vanilla dulce de leche whenever we went to Chile or Bariloche in Argentina and these were carefully hoarded/disputed/the reason for many fights amongst me and my sisters…Andddd naturally as soon as we moved from Brazil to Canada they started opening Havanna cafes in Brazil -_____-
Here in the US I find that few people have heard of alfajores or dulce de leche. However every time I make these they are a big hit. My sister consistently insists I should make these because she wants to eat them every day while my boyfriend consistently insists I should never make them again because he wants to eat them every day. Recently have gotten quite a few people to break their otherwise steadfast Coachella diets to eat an alfajor or too. So if you see some extra muffin tops at Coachella this year, I will take full responsibility for them :)
Argentinian Alfajor Cookies
Makes 12-15 sandwich cookies
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pisco or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can of dulce de leche/cajeta
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Add cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Place room temperature butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed, remembering to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolks, pisco/brandy, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Stop the mixer, scrape down sides and on low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a disk, and wrap tightly. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
Once the dough is chilled, heat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove dough from refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour top of the dough and roll to about 1/4-inch thickness. Note the dough is prone to cracking but can easily be patched. Cut out 24-30 rounds using a round 2 inch cutter or a small cup.
Place cookies on lined baking sheets, 12-15 per sheet, spaced apart.
Bake until the cookies are firm and pale golden on the bottom, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
Once cooled, flip half of the cookies upside down and gently spread about 2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on each. Place a second cookie on top and press gently to create a sandwich. Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.
If you are buying the dulce de leche these are sooo easy to make. If you cannot find it at your local grocery store you can also easily buy it online. The brand I used for these was La Lechera Dulce de Leche.
The cookies bake up the palest beige color and the cornstarch makes them so that they are light in texture. When you bite down on them the soft buttery cookie just crumbles into the creamy, rich dulce de leche caramel.
These are utterly addictive and it is too easy to eat them all in one sitting. Just don’t choke on all that powdered sugar :)
Oh and they are great to take to kids parties because there has never been a kid ever that disliked these cookies. And they are completely nut free so no allergy risks for that. And one last picture just because these are long gone, I only ate one before everyone attacked them, and I miss them: