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alfajores de tarragon and chives

 well here we are again Christmas 🎄 and covid. This time with a side of alfajores on a fish plate.  Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie or cookies?  As long as the flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar keep flowing- I will be baking Christmas cookies, might even slide over the December 25 cutoff and into January this year.

We moved in October.  After a week long getaway to Bandon Dunes, Oregon.  We came back to a new one level, slightly smaller inside and outside new to us home in our same town of Novato.  I think we have electricity gremlins though.  I'm ready to invite my electrician to Christmas dinner since he's here every week.  The latest problem a doorbell chime that almost melted down after continuous buzzing for a day, he's looking for a short in our wiring-don't like the sound of that.  He found it and fixed it, hoorah.

We have a ton of unpacked boxes in our new big white garage.  My husband Scott ordered a backyard studio shed for his home office and once he's in there we will finish putting our house together.  I need a bookcase for all my cookbooks and a small desk in the small bedroom that Scott works in now, but it's difficult for me to see myself in that front room until he moves into his studio shed.  Soon, everything will come together in a few months.

I hereby revive this blog by sharing a recipe that I enjoy so here is a small  batch recipe from a friend for alfajores, enough for you and a friend.

Ingredients and Directions for Alfajores
makes 20 sandwich cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from one small tangerine
1&1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
6-8 ounces dulce de leche

Beat the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until butter lightens in color and becomes fluffy.  Add the salt and powdered sugar, beat for another minute, until well blended.
Add the vanilla and tangerine zest, mix until blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sifted flour and cornstarch.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter in three separate batches, incorporating the flour each time.  Being careful to not over-mix the dough. But, if you do over-mix the dough- the dulce de leche filling will most likely soften the cookies.  (I've always wanted to comment on over-mixed cookie dough)
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and flatten each piece into a disk shape between two sheets of parchment paper.  Roll out 1/4" thick between the parchment paper.  Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Working with one sheet of rolled out cookie dough at a time cut into 2" round shapes, plain or fluted.
Repeat with the second sheet of cookie dough, re-roll the scraps of dough to cut more rounds.
Place the cookies about 2" apart on either Silpat or parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake the cookies two trays at a time for 8-9 minutes, rotating trays after 4-5 minutes from top to bottom.
Let the cookies cool before removing them to metal racks to continue cooling.
When the cookies are completely cool place a generous teaspoon full of dulce de leche on the center of one cookie and lightly press the bottom of another cookie of similar size on top, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Alfajores are good keepers; they can be filled and stored in an air tight container overnight at room temperature.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.


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