AlfajoresWhen Nick and I visited Buenos Aires this past summer, we fell in love with alfajores - dulce de leche cookies. On our last day, we picked up a giant jar of dulce de leche in the San Telmo neighborhood so that we could try making our own back in Chicago.  Nick beat me to it on a recent day off, and the results were amazing. These are without a doubt the best cookies I have ever eaten.

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Buenos Aires was a beautiful city that I hope to have the opportunity to visit again.  We ate delicious food, walked through charming neighborhoods and spent time with our awesome friends Peter, Pao and Arturo. I recently wrote a short article for Gapers Block about drinking in Argentina that I encourage you to read if you want to learn more about our trip (though I hope to post more on this site soon).

Nick's Alfajores


1 3/4 C flour 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 C sugar 1 tsp baking soda 8 Tbl butter, at room temperature 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten 1 tsp vanilla 1 Tbl milk 15 oz dulce de leche*


Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a bowl.  Mix in the butter and then work in the egg yolks, milk and vanilla. Shape the dough into two separate balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about two hours.

Preheat oven to 325F. Roll out each ball of dough on a slightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thick. Cut using a two-inch cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheets covered with silpat mats. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies appear dry, but not so long that the cookies brown.

Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.  When cool, spread half the cookies with dulce de leche and top with the other half.  Serve with a café con leche for an irresistible treat.

A traditional way to serve the cookies is to roll the sides in shredded coconut.  We're not big coconut fans, so we left ours plain.

*We used dulce de leche that we brought back from Argentina.  Feel free to use store bought or make your own.  There are plenty of traditional recipes out there, but I was extremely intrigued to find this recipe from the lovely blog Not Without Salt that calls for simply cooking a can of condensed milk in boiling water.  Brilliant.

Apple, Honey and Thyme Turnovers

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Last summer my friends Andy and Sarah were married in rural Illinois and they gave each guest a jar of delicious locally produced honey as a wedding favor.  I tend to use honey primarily as a condiment and after a full year I had barely made a dent in the jar.  A recent dinner at Province hosted by the National Honey Board inspired me to use it in a sweeter dish, tempered with savory herbs.  The flavors in these turnovers work beautifully together.  If you are curious about the flavor combination but don't want to bake, prepare the filling and serve it warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

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Apple, Honey & Thyme Turnovers

Loosely adapted from The New York Times


2 Granny Smith apples
1/4 C honey
6 thyme branches
2 Tbl butter
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 sheet butter puff pastry, thawed
Flour for dusting
1 egg
1 Tsp milk


Preheat oven to 400F

Core and cut each apple into eight slices.  In a large skillet, heat the honey over medium-high heat until simmering.  Add the apple slices, thyme and butter and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning until well caramelized on all sides and just getting soft.  Remove the thyme and add the ginger and salt, turn off the heat, and stir to thoroughly combined.

Divide the puff pastry into sixths and gently roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface into five inch squares.  Divide the filling evenly between the six squares, leaving a one-inch border. Beat the egg and milk together and brush the edges of each pastry.  Fold each pastry in half to form a triangle and press the edges with fork tines to seal.  Brush each pastry with the remainder of the egg wash and gently pierce the tops with a sharp knife.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.