Recipe for Alfajores De Maicena (Caramel-Filled Coconut Cookies)


1/2 cup butter; softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg; whole
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup flour; all purpose
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder; double acting
1 3/4 cup natillas piuranas
1 1/2 cup coconut; freshly grated or
1 ; packaged flaked coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (G). With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together at high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce the speed to medium, combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, and slowly sift them into the egg mixture; continue beating until the mixture is smooth. (To make the dough by hand, cream the butter and sugar together by mashing and beating them against the sides of the bowl with a large spoon until fluffy. Then add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and continue to beat until smooth. Combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, and sift into the egg mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 3 minutes, or until it is smooth and somewhat elastic. Form the dough into a large ball, then roll it out on a lightly floured board into a rough circle about 1/8 inch thick. With a 2 inch cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into as many rounds as you can. Then gather the remaining scraps of dough into a ball, again roll it into a circle, and cut into rounds as before. Arrange the rounds on 2 lightly buttered cookie sheets and bake in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are firm but still white. Transfer them to a cake rack to cool. Spread the underside of half the cookies with previously made and cooled natillas piuranas, spreading it to the edges with a metal spatula. Top with the remaining cookies and roll the sandwiches cartwheel fashion through the grated coconut so that the coconut shreds adhere to the filling.

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