Last summer, when I was great with child (I didn't get to use that expression nearly as often as I wanted when I was pregnant), Eric and I took an overnight getaway to San Antonio. It was sort of an early anniversary trip because Ruby was anticipated to make her arrival right around our actual anniversary. In the end, she was a few days early and didn't come on our anniversary. I've never been early for anything in my life but perhaps she takes after her dad for whom "on time" = arriving at least 20 minutes early. Anyway, the San Antonio bit is pertinent because we stopped by the bake shop at the Culinary Institute of America at San Antonio campus, stocked by the pastry program students. When I perused the offerings, I came across a cookie called an alfajor. I'd never had an alfajor so I ordered one. I took one bite and promptly decreed it my new favorite cookie.
Alfajores are a common Latin American confection- it seems every country in South America lays claim to them. There are many iterations on an alfajor but the version I made was similar to a sugar cookie, sandwiched with dulce de leche and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. I rolled some of the cookies' edges in coconut, which I highly recommend, although next time I would use smaller, shredded coconut instead of flake. I'm not including a link to the recipe I used as a guide in making these cookies as I had to make pretty substantial adjustments to get the dough to a proper, workable consistency. Next time, I think I'll just adapt my favorite sugar cookie recipe to replace of some of the flour called for with corn starch and add lemon zest and juice for additional flavoring.
I made these alfajores for a recent Austin Bakes bake sale that raised monies for relief efforts in West, TX, site of the recent fertilizer plant fire and explosion that devastated the small town. The bake sale raised over $19,000 for West and I believe the online giving portal is still open if you'd like to contribute.
I brought Ruby along for my volunteer shift at one of the bake sale sites and she was a little champ. She's getting bigger by the day and will be 10 months old in June. Her personality is becoming more and more evident- like Eric, she is very observant and inquisitive and she has my impatience and gift of gab. She babbles at us all day long now. She's becoming such a little person- which I find both delightful and distressing in equal measure. I'd like her to stay a baby a little longer and yet it's fascinating to watch her blossom. It's fun for me to look back at the pictures I've posted these past ten months and see how much she has grown.