March 5, 2012

The Weekend in Recipes

[Argentine Alfajor]
[Pao de Queijo]
Friday night, I drove all over Koreatown looking for tapioca flour. FYI: There's no tapioca flour at Vons, Ralph's, or Galleria Market. But, I did locate dulce de leche, Maizena, and other ingredients at Vons. In the end, I caved and bought tapioca flour at Whole Foods but only after I failed to find it at Gelson's and Jons.

I started with the alfajores and I struggled bc the dough was so dry! I rarely fail horribly in baking endeavors, but I was pretty close with this one. They ended up tasting fine but they were rather ugly.

Read more to see the recipes at the bottom of the post.

[Ingredients for alfajores]

[Step 3 of the recipe]

[On the cooling rack]
The pao de quiejo was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS if I do say so myself. It's less my cooking prowess and more the texture of tapioca flour and cheese. Mm mm cheese makes everything delicious!!

I give myself an F- in documenting the weekend and baking processes with photos. I will try to be better next time...

ALFAJORES, adapted from recipes from here, here, and mostly here.

1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour 
2 1/2 cups of Maizena (brand of corn starch) 
1/2 tsp of baking soda 
2 tsp of baking powder
2 sticks of unsalted butter (good quality is important)
3/4 cup of white sugar 
4-5 egg yolks (Large eggs) 
1 tsp of cognac
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp grated lemon zest

1. Mix the flour, Maizena, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Then add the egg yolks one by one - mixing well, then the vanilla extract, cognac and lemon zest.
3. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add this cream. Mix together using a spoon. Don't overwork the dough. The dough will be crumbly and do your best to shape it into a ball.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 45-60 minutes.
5. Shape the cookies in your hands and then into 2.5" diameter cookies on the cookie pan.
(Other instructions say to roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter, but my dough was too crumbly to do this. Sad.)
6. Bake at 350° for about 11 minutes. The cookies will be white, not golden brown.
7. Immediately put the cookies on a rack to cool.
8. Once the cookies are cold, spoon dulce de leche on one cookie then spread around. Add another cookie to make a sandwich.

PAO DE QUEIJO, adapted from recipes from here and here.
2 cups of tapioca flour
1 cup of 1% milk
1/2 cup of butter
1 tsp of salt
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup of sharp cheddar
2 eggs

Grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle.

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Add the milk, salt, and butter to a pot over medium high heat while constantly stirring mixture. Once boiling, remove from the stove.
4. Slowly add tapioca flour, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed.
5. Add the cheese and eggs and mix until smooth.
6. Spray the mini muffin pan with PAM.
7. Fill each mini muffin cup 3/4 of the way up.
8. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top of each dollop.
9. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown.

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