Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Time to break it in...

I have been a big fan of Nick Malgieri for awhile now and when I saw his new book a few months ago I had to have it. I finally had some time to go through it over Christmas and today I picked out a cookie recipe to make. Since Jeff has not been into work for the last couple weeks, we have not been doing the weekly treat day for his co-workers. Since he went back to work and tomorrow is Treat Day Wednesday, this was a perfect chance for me to make the cookies.

This recipe had me interested as it has a whole lot of Corn Starch in it. I've never made a cookie with that in it and could not wait to see how the resulting texture would be. This recipe for Alfajores resulted in a crisp buttery cookie, flavored with lemon, that is sandwiched with homemade dulce de leche. After sandwiching them, you spread the leftover filling over the sides and roll them in shredded coconut. I was a little nervous as I have never made dulce de leche before and the whole baking in the oven kind of threw me off. It looked like a disaster waiting to happen about 20 minutes in, but I stuck with it and I swear it just magically turned into this sweet, smooth, thick layer of a soft caramel colored mixture. I did this part before making the cookies since I was not sure how long the whole process was going to take. If you are going to assemble the cookies shortly after baking, I would do it this way. Otherwise, go ahead and make it after the cookies are done.

I still have some leftover filling that I will need to find something to do with (other than eat it with a spoon that is... which was so good!)

Sandwiches were on tap for dinner tonight. To make the Pressed Cuban Sandwiches with Garlic Dijon Butter, I used one of my favorite appliances in the kitchen. Ever since we bought The Griddler at the beginning of last year, I have found so many uses for it. The sandwiches were a breeze to cook up using this instead of trying to do them in a pan on the stove. Roasting the garlic adds so much more flavor than using it in the raw state. Jarlsberg cheese, thinly sliced ham and turkey are layered inside of a hoagie roll, then pressed ala panini fashion to toast the bread and melt the velvety cheese. Next time I would make more of the spread as it was pretty thin and we loved the flavor it gave.


  1. Holy cow, do those cookies sound delicious! OMG. Now I need to find an occasion to make them.

  2. I'm also a fan of his. I checked that book out from the library and sadly I wasn't all that impressed with it. It's a gorgeous book, there just wasn't alot in it I could see myself baking.

  3. Wish we had Treat Day where I work! We just do donuts on payday.
    The cookies and the sandwiches look wonderful. Can't wait to try them both.

  4. The cookies look good, a nice change from all those chocolate and nuts!

    Ah, I haven't had a good Cuban in years... no exscuse now!

  5. The cookies look great, but that cuban has me drooling right now. I love melty cheese and meats and all that goodness. Yummy.

  6. Hi Joe,

    Alfajores - sounds Argentine cookies for me, am I right? I tried to taste this but I don't like it just that the way they cook it - too much cornstarch! your sandwich looks good too!

  7. OMG the cuban sandwich looks yummy. We have a great Cuban place in Knoxville to get the yummy sandwiches. It's called Taste of Havana.

  8. I made those cookies for a SHF event a couple of months ago; I then diped then in dark chocolate. Matt and my FIL loved them.

    I've yet to make dulce de leche by baking; I always boil the can from anywhere 1 to 3 hours, depending on the consistency.

    And I skipped the coconut, since no one in this family will eat it!

    But your cookies look fantastic, and I agree with you re: Malgieri. He does good work.

  9. Those cubans look great Joe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. mmmm whoa those cookies look amazing. and you are so brave. I would have seen "corn starch" and been too afraid to try. your blog rocks.

  11. HOw great those recipes. Alfajores..they are originally from Portugal,aren't they?!? Thank you for introducing me to N Malgieri. I have ordered his book off amazon.

  12. Nick's coming to Austin (Central Market) in a few weeks to teach a class. I'm trying to decide whether or not to sign up.

    BTW. Do you like how I referred to him as "Nick"? As if we are old friends ;).

  13. Those cookies are FABULOUS - I'm headed to Argentina in two weeks and am bringing an extra suitcase to stuff full of alfajores.

  14. JJ - Thanks! I ended up really liking these.

    Culinarily - I have to agree with you, I'm not sure how much I will actually make out of this book.

    Fran - Hee hee!

    s'kat - The sandwhich was SO good!

    Punky - I agree!

    CJ - Correct! I thought the cornstarch would be a little weird, but it worked well I think.

    Kali - Cool!

    Stephanie - You did?! I'll have to go check out your post! I've read about the boiling in a can, that might be easier than this whole baking thing!

    Patti - Thanks!

    EP - Thank you!

    Valentina - Glad to see you looking for his stuff - he does good work!

    Anna - Way cool! Wish I lived close enough to go. And yes - hee hee, thanks for the chuckle!

    Mebeth - How fun! I've never been!