Food52 had the genius idea of making a cookie map of the world for this Christmas and I am excited because not one but two of my recipes made it onto the map (alongside recipes from the likes of Olivia Hercules, Heidi Swanson, Emiko!): Alfajores from Argentina and Elisenlebkuchen from Germany.
While I like to think my 4 months studying Spanish in Argentina were worth it for the simple reason that Argentina is where I met and fell in love with Alessandro (and without our rudimentary Spanish we would not have had any way of communicating when we first met), I also may have never discovered the greatness that are Alfajores but for that trip.
When spending any time in Argentina, no matter how long are short, you are bound to eventually grow sick of all the ingenious and mainly not-ingenious-at-all ways that Argentineans manage to wrangle dulce de leche into each and every dessert. Yet it is difficult to grow sick of Alfajores (believe me I have tried!). They are just so beautifully soft, buttery and crumbly yet manage to not fall apart thanks to being held together by said dulce de leche. Also, Argentinean coffee is so strong, you most certainly need something sweet and sugary to go alongside each cup.
And the Elisenlebkuchen? Well, as they say, you can take the German out of Germany but you cannot take Germany out of the German. Despite an overflowing spice drawer, a dedicated miso shelf in my fridge and by now questionable German grammar (at least I make my mum laugh when I try and email her in German), when December rolls around, all I really want are Elisenlebkuchen. Mainly made with nuts, candied peel and plenty of spices, they are soft round gingerbread cookies that are maybe not as well known as Pfeffernuesse or Vanillekipferl but really deserve to be on every holiday cookie plate.
So head on over to Food52 where you will find the recipes for both the Elisenlebkuchen pictured in this post and the Alfajores but also 44 other recipes from all over the world. I already have my eyes on the Basler Leckerli, the South African Chocolate and Pepper Cookies as well as Heidi’s Swedish Rye Cookies!