Author Notes: 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
ounces organic, sweetened condensed milk
pinches sea salt
cups whole-wheat pastry flour
cups organic, whole grain, corn flour (Bob's Red Mill)
teaspoon Baking Soda
teaspoons Baking Powder
ounces organic unsalted butter
cup sugar in the raw
egg yolks from local/free-range eggs
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
teaspoons 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)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Corn off the Cob