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Alfa Bicits |

Alfajores are a biscuit that span the Spanish world. Unfortunately not in size, but in popularity. And it's no wonder, these sweet, nutty biscuits are delightful, and make an especially good Christmas biscuit treat. We made Vintage Kitchen Notes recipe.

Prep time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

Makes: ~30


150g unsalted butter

200g sugar

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

A few drops vanilla extract

Zest of 1/3 of a lemon

1 tbsp brandy

140g plain flour

250g cornflour

1/2 tsp baking powder

450g Dulce de Leche

Unsweetened desiccated coconut for rolling

1. Mixing is coming to town

In a large bowl, using an electric whisk or wooden spoon, blend your 150g butter and 200g of sugar. Keep going, working those arms and those bakeceps out, until it's soft and creamy.

Add your 1 egg to the mix, and separate 2 eggs, putting the yolks in with the mix and the whites to the side. (Always handy in case of hankerings for impromptu meringue). Mix together until combined.

Next, add a dash of vanilla extract, 1tbsp brandy and the zest of 1/3 of a lemon. Mixy mix again.

Now it's time to add the dry ingredient. (Don't worry they're not the kind of dry where they'll turn up to the party and start talking about taxes, they'll make the party great). Make it snow by sifting 140g plain flour, 250g cornflour and 1/2 tsp baking powder into the wet mix.

Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula - only use an electric whisk if you want look like Mrs Doubtfire or want to inhale so much flour that you feel like you have a miner's lung.

Once all of the mix is combined, put it to the side to rest for 10 minutes. You can also prepare this dough before you need it and leave it, clingwrapped, in the fridge for up to a day.

Preheat your oven to 170°c and grease 2 baking sheets.

2. Rolling, rolling, rolling out the dough

After the dough has rested, take the cucumber off it's eyes (joking), and pop it on a lightly floured work surface.

Roll the dough out to 1/2 centimetre thickness.

Using round cutters 2-4inches in circumference, or whatever shape you have to hand (we found the more complicated shapes, like men, prove difficult later on), cut biscuit shapes out of the dough. Make sure to cut the shapes in pairs so they can be sandwiched together later.

Pop the dough shapes on a tray, spreading them out because they spread slightly in the oven.

Keep cutting shapes, re-rolling the dough if necessary, until all your dough is used. At the end you should have 50-60 biscuits (aka a cheesy holiday movies amount of biscuits..).

Once all of your biscuits have been cut and shaped and put on their trays, pop them in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. You might need to do this in batches because of the vast quantity of biscuit. You will know the biscuits are cooked when they're just start to go brown.

Take them out of the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

3. Put that winter coat on

Once your biscuits are cool, which should only take 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack, it's time to get them looking tasty and festive.

Keeping your bicuits in pairs, put a large dollop, about a tbsp, of dulce de leche (more like delicious de leche, am I right) on the inside of one biscuit. Gently press it's soul mate down on top so they're having a little smoosh. Using the back of your spoon, scrape of excess dulce de leche and fill any un-dulced gaps.

Now the two biscuits have become one, it's time to put some snow on them. Pour a heap of dessicated coconut onto a plate and roll the biscuit through like a unicycle, so that it picks up the coconut.

Now you have an alfajores. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep filling and rolling the biscuits until all the have been put together.

Grab yourself a biscuit, and have a merry dinkmas and sinkmas!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "These little fellas are like a symbol of Christmas; they look like a bit like odd little pancake snowmen. As an added bonus, they are also delicious. I was surprised to be using cornstarch in a baking recipe, but it kept the biscuits really light and meant two sandwhiched together was perfect. The creamy sweetness of the dulce de leche was balanced perfectly by the coconut. I would be interested to try this again with a bit more salt, which might balance the sweetness better. I ate 10 at least, and could have easily snick snacked on more. 9/10 gasps in my corner."

Kate says: "A little snow covered ball (or chosen biscuit shape) of loveliness! After the dulce de leche incident last time (see bottom of the bag tiramisu) I was reluctant to have it again, but this time we got it from a jar which was much better. The process of making these was very therapeutic, calming and Christmassy; especially with some Bublé blasting in the background. The slight pop of lemon from the biscuit compliments the sweet dulce de leche perfectly, and the coconut adds a nutty texture. Just be careful to take them out of the oven in time, they don’t need to be brown or they will crumble - handle with care. 9/10 "

9/10 Gasps


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