I am back,  yes I just decided to take a little holiday break from blogging.  It was a very busy holiday season but I am all refreshed and ready to start the new year.

During the holidays I spend 2 ½ weeks relaxing, this is what I was looking at most of the time, relaxing in the sun.

It was the first time my little 10 month old went swimming and she loved it.  It was so much fun playing on the beach with her.

Then I spent the other 2 weeks at home celebrating the holidays with family and friends.  It was great to spend first Christmas with little Ella.

But now it is back to business, and it is time for Secret Recipe Club.  This recipe is part of the monthly Secret Recipe Club “assignment!” Every month you get a name of a blog and you need to choose ANY recipe from that blog and then blog about that recipe by a date. It’s a secret because the blog owner does not know you are doing this until the reveal date. My secret blog this month was An Opera Singer in the Kitchen, which is written by Noelle. Noelle has a great food blog, where she writes about life and recipes.  She is also expecting baby #2 next month.  Very exciting.  There are so many delicious recipe on her blog but i decided to do something simple and delicious.

Alfajores are soft, delicate cookies from South America.  They are made with cornstarch, which gives the dough a smooth, satiny texture that makes it great to work with, and produces a tender, crumbly cookie. Filling is Dulce de Leche and you can decide how much time you want to spend on it, you can make your own or just can some store bought.  Or you can even just use some nutella or biscotti spread if you want to do something different.

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Alfajores with Dulce de Leche

Yield: 3 dozen

Prep Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
Store bought dulce de leche or here is a recipe for making your own
Other easier options are just to use nutella or biscotti
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together for a minute or two, until they look light and fluffy.

In the meantime, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set it aside.

Add in the egg and egg yolk one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix briefly. Add in flour mixture and mix just until the dough starts to come together.

Working quickly, turn out the dough and use a little heat from your hands to make it a solid ball. Pullout a large plastic wrap and flatten the dough on top to make a disk. Double wrap it and refrigerate for 1 hour, until firm, or freezer for 20 minutes if you are trying to make it quick.

Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone mat. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Rotate the dough between rolls to make sure it’s not sticking to the surface.

Using a 2 inch fluted or round cutter, cut out cookies and carefully transfer them onto sheets, placing them about 1 inch apart.

Chill sheets again for about 15-20 minutes, until the dough is very firm. Then bake cookies for 8-10 minutes in 350 degree oven, until tops of the cookies have just firmed and bottoms are starting to color slightly.

Cool the sheets on wire racks before assembling the sandwiches.

Drop, pipe or spread a teaspoon of dulce de leche into the center of each cookie, then top with another.

Sift powdered sugar over the assembled sandwiches.

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