I am not great with surprises.
I tend to ruin them, for others and for myself…I just can’t handle it!
I’m just a total surprise ruiner.
So, when one of my best friend’s boyfriend wanted to coordinate a birthday surprise visit for her (so sweet!), it took a tremendous amount of effort for me not to blow it.
It was a tough couple months, friends.
So, Sunday morning, full to the brim with excited anticipation, I hopped on a plane bound for New York, took a quick car ride into New Jersey and surprised my dear friend.
There were tears and hugs and it was SO joyous!
waiting for the train/antique seltzer bottles/fresh mint tea/lambertville, NJ
rainy day in NYC/kimchi stew a Momofuku Noodle bar/corn cookie/rainy NYC
I spent 3 days traipsing around New Jersey, NYC, and a little sliver of Pennsylvania with my sweet friend. We chatted, shared many pots of tea, drank, ate, antiqued, and caught up to our hearts content. We took many an Instagram photo, shared cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar (awesome sauce for realz yo!), noodles and steamed buns with my brother-in-law at Momofuku Noodle Bar, laughed and joked it up. It was a whirlwind of a trip and one I will not soon forget!
I didn’t want to arrive empty handed, so the day before I left I made these Alfajores for her. It’s a bit of a sentimental treat since we shared some the last time I visited her when she was living in New York City. I packed up the sweet little sandwiches and carried them on the plane with me.
The cookies traveled so well! The dulce de leche softened the originally crisp cookies, which made for the perfect cookie sandwich–tender, yielding cookie and rich dulce de leche in every bite!
Adapted from Technicolor Kitchen
These cookies come together with little effort if you use canned dulce de leche (which, I did). Just a little dough mixing, rolling, cutting, and baking are involved. You can either pipe on the prepared dulce de leche or spread it onto the cooled cookies. Either way, the people you share them with will be impressed and will definitely appreciate your effort in making them a home-baked treat.
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla (or 2 tablespoons cognac, I didn’t have any)
prepared dulce de leche
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add yolks one at a time, scraping between each. Add vanilla or cognac, mix well.
With the mixer on low, mix in cornstarch mixture until just combined.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Turn out dough onto a clean surface dusted lightly with flour and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. If dough is too wet, chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes or more. Using a 2 inch round or fluted cutter cut out circles of dough and transfer to silicone or parchment lined baking sheets. Re-roll scraps and cut additional cookies. At this point I chilled the cut cookies on baking sheets for 10 minutes in the freezer. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden on the bottoms. Do not brown, cookies should be pale but cooked through. Cool completely on a cooling rack before filling with dulce de leche and dusting with confectioner’s sugar. Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.