I was born in a small town, founded by the Swedes, called Gothenburg, Nebraska. The state of Nebraska, as you might recall, is “The Cornhusker State,” and despite moving at a young age, I have always had a healthy appreciation for golden kernels spiraling around a cob. I even devoted the better part of a semester of architecture school studying corn as a set of systems, structures and rules. I came to be known as “the corn girl” for quite some time. Later in that same architecture stint, I made my way to Argentina for study abroad and general self discovery. I would frequent a little organic grocer in my neighborhood, and I bought my fair share of the national cookie: the alfajor. Alfajores are two corn flour based cookies sandwiched around the other national treasure- dulce de leche. Using my Nebraskan roots and my world wanderings for inspiration, I kicked up the corn content of the average alfajor, and thus I present “Alphacornes.” There is one more step I see on the horizon of this batch of cookies, but alas, this deadline did not allow. Please stay tuned to my baking/wandering blog www.withthegrains.wordpress.com to see the next phase of this cookie when I make it an even more refreshing summer treat. Remember this little corn quip: “Knee high by the fourth of July!” and support your local corn farmers, especially the organic ones! —With The Grains
- Makes 15-18 sandwich cookies
- Dulce de Leche
organic, sweetened condensed milk
- Alfajor Cookie
1 2/3 cups
whole-wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 cups
organic, whole grain, corn flour (Bob's Red Mill)
organic unsalted butter
sugar in the raw
egg yolks from local/free-range eggs
pure vanilla extract
organic lemon extract
ear of local corn, kernels removed and chopped
unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C)
- Pour the two cans of organic sweetened condensed milk a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish.
- Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
- Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
- Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil or a lid if you have one and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
- Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool.
- For the Cookies... Combine the whole-wheat flour, corn flour, baking soda and baking powder.
- Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg yolks, the vanilla extract, the whiskey, the lemon extract and the crushed corn.
- Add this cream to the dry ingredients making a hole in the middle of the flour and making a crumbly dough using a spoon. When you see that the dough is cohesive enough, make a ball with your hands pressing the different pieces together.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30-60 minutes (30 is usually enough if you are in a hurry). Roll out the dough carefully flouring the counter until it gets around 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a round cutter, and repeat joining the scraps again and again until you´ve used all the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Place on a stone baking sheet and bake for around 15 minutes, checking frequently. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Place a dollop of dulce de leche on the bottom side of one cookie and cover with a second cookie. Roll the outside edge of dulce de leche in the unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Serve and enjoy! (and probably clean up some sticky fingers and faces)