Alfajores

Sometimes I think of recipes as memories written down.
I know it might sound cheesy to some readers; but when you prepare a recipe your mother or father taught you, there is always a flashback to that instant in time, like if it was just yesterday.

Deciding to share this recipe was a bit of a hard decision, but my sister posted a picture of my mom's alfajores that she had just made. She lives in Milan, her name is Raquel. She left Peru when she was 18 or 19 years. Her picture made a couple things clear to me--"If I don't post this recipe, how can I expect that my own children will actually make it? What happens if I die without teaching it to them? And if this blog is sort of a journal for me, how can I keep such an important recipe from it? The answer was clear. This recipe is important to me, not only because is delicious, but because it has different memories attached to it. From kids sneaking into the kitchen, to delivering boxes of alfajores to small stores while holding the hands of my two little girls. Also,  teaching my daughters for the first time how to make them, sharing it with friends for Christmas, kid stopping by my house to ask for the heaven-cookies; so many memories, including my first unwanted Summer job at a French Patisserie that started my passion for food.
When I cook or bake a thousand thoughts go thru my head; especially the people that have taught me how to cook: parents, family, friends, teachers, and some of my favorite old and new TV chefs.

Also, I like to imagine my future great-grandkids, with their own kids and saying--"Great-grandma used to make them, while she still lived in PerĂº. She sold them in little bodegas and made a small profit for grocery shopping. She learned different recipes from her mom, from her mother in law, from the bakery her father made her work during a summer vacation time, from all her cooking books.... She then adjusted the recipes into one single new recipe. She shared her recipe with everybody so that her recipe will keep alive and travel thru time to us, to ensure that you and I are cooking this today." Mom can daydream correct? For my children Bianca, Marcela, and JoseAndres; and their offspring. I will always love you.


Alfajores
Alfajor is a Peruvian Tradition, and as long as I make it, it will remind me that a little sticky sweet can put together a broken cookie; like love can mend a broken heart.

There are 2 ways to make alfajores, but remember, the less you knead, the better it is. To make bread we knead the dough, to make a pastry we cut the fat in.



Recipe by Chef Freyka
Serves 4

Ingredients:
11
oz.
Flour, all-purpose


3 ½
oz. Powder sugar

8
oz. Butter, unsalted Softened

2
tbsp.
Evaporated milk

Filling
1
can
Dulce de Leche To fill the alfajor



Powder sugar
Extra powder sugar, for dusting


Directions:
  1. By hand:
    • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, powder sugar, and butter; using a pastry cutter mix them together until the mixture resembles polenta.
    • Add the evaporated milk. Keep cutting the dough with the pastry cutter until the dough forms. Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. By food processor:
    • Place flour and powder sugar into the food processor. Pulse to combine.
    • Add in the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles polenta.
    • Add the milk while pulsing. Pulse until the mixture forms into a dough-ball. Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375*F. Lightly floured 2 sheet pans.
  4. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured board, about 1/8 thickness should be. Cut out desired size circles; place them on the prepared sheet pan, almost touching each other.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes on the bottom rack; and 6 more minutes on the higher rack. Bring them out of the oven and carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
  6. When cool store them in a tin can.
  7. To assemble, spoon the filling into a piping bag, fitted with a star or plain tip.
  8. Lay flat half of the alfajor-shells, pipe dulce de leche, and lightly place and press the other alfajor-shell.
  9. Sprinkle with powder sugar.
  10. Have Fun Cooking and Enjoy.



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