One group of Petits Chefs have already had the pleasure of working with Chef Rossy Earle (and they made empanadas and Panamanian milk candies) so I was thrilled when Rossy agreed to come back to share a little bit of Panama with the new group of Petits Chefs. Born & raised in Panama City, Panama, Rossy prides herself in infusing Latin American flavours into whatever she creates, making it her goal to merge some of her roots into Canadian food culture. Currently a freelance Chef in Toronto, Rossy is working on on developing her website and a line of bottled specialty products – Neil and I were the very fortunate recipients of Rossy’s first product – her hotly anticipated “Salsa de Fuego” hot sauce. We can’t wait to try it! You can read a wonderful profile of Rossy over at Edible Toronto.
This week, Rossy chose to make alfajores with the boys. “Alfa-what?” was the response earlier in the day when I told the boys what we were making. Confusion turned into delight when I explained that alfajores are sweet, shortbread-like cookies joined together with dulce de leche or jam and covered with powdered sugar. The boys were thrilled as I generally don’t choose sweet treats but since we’re so close to Christmas, I figured it was a great way to keep little hands busy on a rainy Monday afternoon!
Rossy normally uses a stand mixer for this dough as it can be very very stiff and hard to manipulate with a hand mixer but the boys soldiered on and did a great job until the mixers would mix no longer…
I was impressed to see how well the boys worked with rolling the dough – such precision and care! Rossy brought some pre-made dough with her so that it could be rolled out immediately whilst the dough we made during the club was carefully packaged up for the boys to take home and make some more cookies on their own!
The boys’ cookies were too hot to fill (so they all left with Ziploc baggies of Rossy’s homemade dulce de leche – lucky lucky little boys!) but we took one and showed the boys how to pipe the filling and make the sandwich and coat with powdered sugar. Perfect!
I heard rave reviews about the cookies and the dulce de leche from the boys – and some of them even filled their cookies with Nutella, peanut butter and various jams – and I am confident that some of the guys will be making these at home over the holidays too!
- 1⅔ cup flour
- 2½ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 7 oz (200 gr) butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 jar of Cajeta or Dulce de Leche
- Fine shredded coconut
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Sift dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a mixer, whip butter, sugar & yolks until creamy then add vanilla & lemon zest.
- Add to dry mix, crumbling till combined. Make into a ball, refrigerate 30-60 min.
- Roll dough onto floured surface to ½ cm & cut with round cutter. Bake 15-20 min at 350˚F
- Check after 10 min. Bottom should be a light golden colour, top should be pale. Cool on rack.
- Spread flat side of one cookie with dulce de leche, use another cookie to make a sandwich.
- Roll edges on coconut then dust with icing sugar on top.
Thanks so much Rossy for taking time out of your super busy schedule this holiday season to share some of your wonderful traditions with the boys – we so appreciate it!