VANILLA LATTE is a blog dedicated to food & travel with occasional random stuff thrown in. It is managed and written by me, Maggie Ha.

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Alfajores 29Jul09


I was really excited about my 100th post, so much so that I made alfajores to celebrate. I have been meaning to makes these for quite some time. I’ve always wanted to try Matt of mattbites.com‘s version because his photos look so scrumptious I want to eat the screen! But of course I can’t find store bought dulce de leche here so I had to make my own. I did it the cheater way :) simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk submerged in water for an hour and 45 minutes gives you delicious dulce de leche. I’ve always wanted to try that method! Sure the can could explode and I could possibly suffer burns but that’s the fun right? Okay to be honest I was scared the whole time. But the key is to keep the can completely submerged so it doesn’t explode. I used the biggest pot I could find and filled the entire thing with water… just in case!

So Alfajores… a delicious latin treat with two biscuits and dulce de leche in the middle. And then of course powdered sugar on top! I actually really liked the biscuit by itself with just a little sprinkle of powdered sugar. They’re a little cakey and not your usual cookie crunch. Almsot like a little pancake… in fact the house smelled like pancakes the whole time. Mmm I’m going to have another one now.

Recipe adapted from Matt at mattbites.com via Martha Stewart

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups of butter, softened at room temp
1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 teaspoon of vanilla
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Step 1: The dulce de leche!
In a large pot (don’t use a nice one), put a can of sweetened condensed milk in it and fill to cover the entire can so it’s submerged with cold water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower that to medium low and let that simmer away for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it and make sure that the water level is always a few inches above the can! Once the time is up, remove the can with tongs and set aside to cool completely before opening. Make sure it’s cool before opening!!! Quick stir with a spoon and there you go, dulce de leche!

Step 2: The mixing!
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Now add in the eggs one at a time and whisk until combined. Then add in the flour mixture a little bit at a time and mix until all combined. It should be pretty thick and doughy by now, so pour in the milk and mix. Now add in the vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Mix until all combined and there you go!

Step 3: The baking!
Grease and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, dollop the dough on the baking sheet about 1 -2 inches away from each other. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes, rotating and switching the trays halfway to make sure it’s evenly baked. When ready, place on a cooling rack to and leave until cool.

Step 4: Assemble and eat!
Once your cookies are ready, try to match up the cookies that are the same shape… hopefully they’re all round! Just put about 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche in the middle and press together. Top with some powdered sugar and they’re ready to be eaten.

If you don’t have dulce de leche or a spare can of condensed milk, you can put your favorite jam or frosting in it. Mmm this would be great dipped in some melted dark chocolate. I might have to try that next time! Mmm I think I’ll have another one now. Tea break anyone?




Latest Latte

Ground Support

My local favorite is currently Ground Support in SOHO. I go there almost every day for a smooth creamy soy cappuccino or if it’s hot out an iced soy latte. When I’m not in a hurry to run out, I try to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the coffee in the shop… you know, chat with the staff, catch up on some calls and best of all… people watch. Always some interesting characters in NYC!

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