Full Moon Alfajores de Maicena

 

I had to leave my house at about 9:30 last night and thought of snapping a quick moon shot but was too rushed. (See pic a friend of mine took-- much better!) It was both the night of a full moon and the night of a total eclipse and at that point the moon was about one quarter concealed. For some reason the act of pulling out my camera jolted me into remembering that I had forgotten to turn off the burner under my potβ€” which, left by itself for the next few hours, would almost certainly have converted my simmering dulce de leche into a smoldering brick soldered onto the enamel pot and, I suspect, caused some pretty serious damage. So, thank moon! On my way back, at around 11:45, I stumbled about the quiet streets searching for the moon like a drunk before realizing that at that very moment the full eclipse was in effect: invisible nighttime moon. Alfajores de maicena are the sine qua non of Argentine sweets, a sort of baseline experience so self-evident it’s hard to think of what to say about them. What can you say about air? We are talking a classic: round, crisp cornstarch biscuits sandwiching thick globs of milk caramel. The genius of these devious little discs is that while passing for finger food, little nothings, they actually present quite a lot: crunch, goo, sweetness and sobriety. Plus, the tropical pleasures of crispy coconut flakes, whose role it is to contain the caramel within the cookie. What more can anyone ask for? Plump, white and fuzzy-edged, they look like petite full moons, and they are just as tempting. Nothing on this earth better accompanies an espresso!

What you will need

4 cups whole milk

2 cups cane sugar

1 vanilla bean, unslit

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup clean glass marbles

generous cup (320 grams) cornstarch

1 1/3 cup (200 grams) extra fine sugar

generous 3/4 cup (100 grams) buckwehat flour

3 egg yolks

1 1/3 stick (150 grams) butter (room temp)

1 teaspoon baking powder

rind of half a large lemon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 tablespoon cognac

coconut flakes

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