Whether you’ve been invited to a Latino Christmas Cookie Exchange Party or you’re at a loss as to what to give your neighbors or co-workers for Christmas or in need of a creative project to keep your kids occupied, we’ve got the perfect holiday cookie recipes. From classic and basic to cookies traditionally made across Latin America, cookies are just the right addition to a festive celebration. For me, just like there is no Thanksgiving without turkey and leftovers, there is no Christmas season without homemade, fresh-baked cookies. Happy baking!
ALAJORES WITH DE LECHE
Makes: 2 dozen
This is a great, easy and delicious recipe to prepare with kids. You can have them help you mixing and whisking, putting the sandwiches together and adding the last touches with coconut flakes and powdered sugar.
For the Cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter (a good quality one, such as Pulgrá) at room temperature
1/2 cup fine sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting or unsweetened coconut flakes
For the Filling:
1 can condensed milk or already made Dulce de Leche
1. If you are making the filling, prepare it first to allow it to cool. Simmer the unopened can of condensed milk in a pot, covered, for 2 hours; allow to cool completely before opening.
2. Preheat oven at 325ºF.
3. Use an electric mixer to blend the butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high using the paddle attachment. Reduce speed, and add flour, salt and vanilla extract.
4. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours and roll out and cut into round shapes. (Cookies should be about 1/ 4–inch thick.)
5. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until just lightly browned. 6. Set aside to cool.
7. Once cool, spread one cookie bottom with the dulce de leche and top with another cookie.
8. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar or sprinkle sides with coconut flakes.
Note: You can also cover them with semisweet chocolate.