Cheater’s alfajores

How to make semi-homemade alfajores | Get more #recipes from theothersideofthetortilla.com #cookies

 

Alfajores are basically code for delicious cookie sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle. They’re a popular confection in Spain and parts of Latin America. They’re delicate cookies made with corn starch that give a buttery, satin texture with the perfect amount of crumble. I love alfajores (and usually try to pick up a box of the fancy, individually-wrapped kind from Palacio de Hierro while in Mexico) but sometimes I just need a quick fix without the hassle of making cookies from scratch when I can’t buy the fancy kind.

On the Kenmore Genius Blog, I confessed  my dirty little secret on how to make alfajores with all of the flavor and hardly any of the work. If you’re a disaster in the kitchen, are pressed for time with a busy schedule or just having a lazy moment, this recipe is for you! It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself…. 

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Travel Tuesday: Puerquitos remind me of Aguascalientes

This past weekend, I ventured into a different bakery in Pilsen than usual when I decided to stop for some bolillo rolls to make capirotada for the last week of Lent. To my delight, this bakery that I hadn’t visited in several years had a tray of puerquitos – a molasses and cinnamon-flavored cookie cut into the shape of a piggy.

Some of you know I gave up eating processed sugar for Lent, something that has not been easy in a house where we love desserts and pan dulce. I was too weak to resist the temptation, though, and bought one to satisfy the craving. I just needed one little bite and I was immediately reminded of a bakery I visited in Aguascalientes last summer with José’s abuelita Ana. It was adjacent to a charming little restaurant downtown called La Saturnina, a place with cotton candy-pink, purple and cobalt blue painted walls, where she loves to eat breakfast (a place she swears makes the best torrejas in Aguascalientes, in part because of the dark, tangy, molasses-like miel de maguey it’s served with). The bakery, called Panadería Los Angeles, was certainly like a slice of heaven with the scent of sugar, cinnamon and freshly-baked breads wafting through the warm summer air…. 

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CARLOTA DE LIMÓN

Carlota de limón is an excellent, easy dessert served during Easter and Christmas holidays, as well as during the spring and summer. A Carlota, also known as a Charlotte in English, is an ice-box cake. That is, it includes a filling layered with cookies that needs to be frozen in order to get the right consistency–almost ice cream-like. I consulted my cuñada as to what she knew about carlotas, but apparently not everyone calls them by that name. She told me she often sees the dessert simply called postre de limón in Mexico City. No matter what it’s called, though, we decided it was delicious and the perfect dessert to share with family and friends.

Mexican dessert: carlota de limón o postre de limón, known as an ice box cake or a Charlotte in English. Get the recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com

This past weekend, I was trying to decide what I should bring for dessert to my family’s Easter fiesta. I was considering taking either flan or capirotada, but couldn’t decide so I asked my Twitter amigos what to do. I got just about equal votes for each, including one really funny comment after I referred to our gathering as “Mexi-Rican Easter” since we’ve got some Puerto Rican cousins in my extended family on my stepmother’s side.

Eventually, my friend Nelda suggested I bring a carlota. We debated a bit about the method and the kind of cookie to be used (ladyfingers versus galletas María), but ultimately we decided the best version would include cream cheese. I can’t remember the last time I had a carlota, but I’ll tell you what: It’s making a comeback in my kitchen this spring and summer.

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