Sandwich Cookies

2010.Jun.15 Tuesday · 0 comments

in Food & Recipes

As part of my exploration of various foodstuffs here, and in particular recently, of pastries, I thought I’d do the hard work of nibbling my way through the various alfajores available here in my ‘hood. It’s a tasty job and I was happy to volunteer….

Quebec - alfajores

Quebec, Av. Pueyrredón 1639 (and other locations)

Three types of cordobeses, plus maicenas and one unlabeled, which the salesperson just muttered something at me that I couldn’t understand: all small, between 4-5cm across. The maicenas – I generally am not a big fan, they tend to be very dry and almost chalky, and these are no exception, though perhaps slightly less so. Nicely rounded, good amount of dulce de leche inside and just a thin strip of coconut adhering to the dulce. The unlabeled ones – the smallest of the bunch, with two thin cookies of a slightly stiff puff pastry filled with a layer of dulce de leche and a drizzle of sugar glaze over the top. The first of the cordobeses, and the largest of the five selections – virtually identical to the previous one, though the puff pastry is a bit softer and the entire upper cookie is coated in sugar glaze. The other two cordobeses virtually identical to each other, one with a coating of sugar glaze flavored with a little lemon, the other with dark chocolate – fairly hard, crunchy cookies, a bare whisper of dulce de leche in the center, the coating on the top and sides, and a single walnut for decoration – interestingly, the white coated ones are half the price of any of the other alfajores, at $2, while the others are all $4 apiece. Overall, not very impressive.

Luis XV - alfajores

Luís XV, Av. Las Heras 2068

Four types, plus a loose affiliate. First off, far bigger than those from Quebec – the smallest of these coming in at 6cm across and the largest, the maicena, coming in at 8cm, and all at $4 apiece, so on appearances, a much better value. Beginning with the maicena, a softer cookie than the usual and not particularly dry, which is nice; a good amount of dulce de leche, though perhaps too little given the size of the cookies, and a nice dusting of coconut around the edges. The cordobese, sugar shock waiting to happen – a whopping amount of dulce de leche inside to very thin cookies that look like they might be puff pastry that’s been flattened to oblivion – artistically I like the curved upper cookie, at the same time, it means there’s even more room for extra dulce; plus, the whole thing is covered on all sides with a vanilla sugar glaze that’s actually a couple of millimeters thick. The marplatense is the smallest of the bunch, but still bigger than the largest at the previous location, and here simply referred to as an alfajor de chocolate – delicious and soft cocoa cookies, a thin filling of dulce de leche and a nice glaze of bittersweet chocolate all around. The powdered sugar topped ones are simply called alfajores, and my questions as to regional provenance yielded “normal, de Argentina”. The cookies slightly dry and crumbly, not helped by the heavy dusting of powdered sugar atop; a reasonable amount of dulce de leche inside, but my least favorite of these four. Now, the fifth is an ojito, which is not really an alfajor, but is closely related – more of an open sandwich cookie, but then, one could really get into all sorts of similar pastries. Nonetheless, the young lady at the counter insisted I try one – they have them with strawberry gelatin, and both a vanilla and chocolate version filled with raspberry jam, this being the latter of the three – the same cocoa cookie as used in the marplatense, just built up in two levels leaving space for the jam – a thin coating of chocolate around the outer rim – absolutely worth trying.

Melo  - alfajores

Melo, Pacheco de Melo & Uriburu

An interesting trio of alfajores from this tiny neighborhood bakery. The maicena a bit dry and chalky, as they tend to be, also quite large – a solid 7-8 cm across. As was the marplatense style – nice and soft cookies inside, dark chocolate on the outside (only on one side, most of the time they’re dipped on both sides), and a good amount of dulce de leche inside. The small white one, about 4 cm across, was the surprise, and unique – dulce on the inside and plain, slightly crispy cookies surrounding, but the white glaze was a strong peppermint icing that was a really nice touch.

Caren - alfajores

Caren, Pueyrredón 1881

This has been one of my favorite little pastry shops since I moved to the neighborhood nearly five years ago, so no surprise that they make some really good alfajores. They only offer two versions – a marplatense style, coated in chocolate, with soft cocoa cookies and dulce de leche inside, and a vanilla cookie version filled with raspberry jam and glazed with white and dark chocolate that was probably my favorite out of all those I tasted. They also offer colaciones, which are, more or less, an open-faced alfajor, with a slightly curved vanilla cookie holding a generous scoop of dulce de leche and the whole thing dipped in vanilla glaze.

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