Alfajores

_MG_9810The weather in Brussels is starting to feel positively autumnal with cool mornings, fierce winds and long rain showers. Instead of embracing the change of the seasons, I have escaped the impending colder months for a short holiday with Alessandro in Italy. After spending some time with his family we hit the road South to Puglia to relax on the beach, grill anything and everything the ocean has to offer down here and eat our weight in watermelon.

While the barbecue is warming up for tonight’s seafood feast, I just wanted to briefly say hi and talk about these alfajores I shared on Food52 the other day.

I first fell in love with these when I was studying Spanish in Argentina when I was fresh out of law school (which, incidentally, is also where Alessandro and I met). Argentina is known the world over for the quality of its steaks, and after having spent several months in Buenos Aires, I can attest that Argentinians are obsessed with meat. Their steaks weigh over two pounds each, and grown men are ridiculed if they so much as think about ordering the ‘chica’ version (which is still close to a pound of meat).

But if there’s one thing Argentinians obsess about even more than meat, it is dulce de leche. This confection, not unlike the French confiture de lait, finds its way into medialunas (the Argentinians’ answer to French croissants), into numerous ice cream flavors, onto all dessert menus, and into my favorite Argentinian cookies: alfajores.

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At their most basic, Argentinean alfajores are nothing more than cookies made from two flat disks of melt-in-your-mouth rich and buttery shortbread that are sandwiched together with a dollop of dulce de leche. Sometimes they are also rolled in coconut or dipped in white or dark chocolate. However they are served, alfajores are the perfect sweet antidote to the rather strong and dark coffee young Argentineans drink all day long as an attempt to keep their eyes open at work despite a social life that does not seem to provide for much shut-eye.

Head on over to Food52 for the recipe.

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