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Your New Favorite Holiday Dessert-Straight From Uruguay!

photo by Ellory Boyd

The only thing better than the tenderly cooked beef of an Uruguayan Parilla (Barbeque) is what comes after it: the buttery Alfajor dessert! This bite-sized sweet combines traditional Uruguayan dulce de leche (similar to caramel) with light, airy cookies and your preferred garnish. Luckily, they can be whipped up with common kitchen ingredients anywhere in the world! The supplies you need are:

 
 
 
 
 
 
Dulce de leche:
One 14-ounce can of sweet and condensed milk
One shallow baking dish
One deeper dish
Aluminum foil

Cookies:
One stick of butter
1\4 cup of sugar
1 to 1 1\4 cups of flour
1\2 cup of cornstarch
1\4  teaspoon of baking powder
1\8 teaspoon of salt
One egg
1\2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract
Powdered sugar or coconut flakes for topping
Two mixing bowls
round cookie cutter (plastic water bottle lid sized)
Baking sheet
Rolling pin

Making the dulce de leche is quite simple. First, preheat the oven to 425. Then, pour the condensed milk into the shallow dish and place this dish inside the deeper dish. Now fill the deep dish with hot water halfway up the sides of the shallow dish. Cover the shallow dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 and 1\4 hours, or until the dulce de leche is thick and browned. Once it cools, whisk it until it’s creamy and smooth.

Meanwhile, lower the oven temperature to 350, and beat the butter and sugar together until they’re fluffy before adding in the egg and vanilla and stirring. In the other bowl, mix one cup of flour, the cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Now combine these bowls of ingredients and whisk until clump-free. If the dough is still sticky, add some of the remaining flour.

Use the rest of the flour for dusting your cookie cutting surface. Then roll out your dough to 1\8 of an inch thickness and slice the cookies. Remember that these are sandwich cookies, so you should cut twice as many cookies as pastries you want.

Put them on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden-brown. While they cool, pour some of your chosen topping onto a plate. Then grab two cookies, fill with dulce de leche, and roll the confection in your topping.

And since the confections are bite sized, you can nibble on some now and still have some for your holiday party later!

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