Saturday, March 1, 2008

Argentina - #1

Dulce de Leche is one of Argentina's most popular ingredients. It is slow carmelized milk. The process takes a while, but it is truly worth the effort. This is the most amazing caramel you will ever try. You will never want to buy it in the stores again! The cookies are wonderful with the dulce de leche because they're not strong in flavor, but they're buttery and delicious. Enjoy one of Argentina's favorites!


(Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling)

Alfajores pg. 372
Makes 24 cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. brandy
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup dulce de leche

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks. Add the zest and brandy and mix well. Sift together flour and baking powder then mix into the butter mixture to make a dough that is soft but not runny. Form into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a large cookie sheet.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 1 ½ inch rounds. Place on cookie sheet and bake until set, about 10 minutes, the cookies should have no color.
4. Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack. Spread one cookie with dulce de leche and press a second cookie on top.

Dulce de Leche pg. 390

Makes 3 cups
4 cups milk
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. baking soda

In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, mix together the milk, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Cook for about an hour until it is thick and caramel-colored. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Both recipes are taken directly from:

The South American Table, Maria Baez Kijac. Harvard Common Press: Boston, Massachusettes, 2003.

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