Life's Sweeter with Dulce de Leche and Best Friends
This weekend I hung with our girl Samantha Beech, a private chef and baker from LA. We were going to a party with some of her friends in the industry, and the theme for the party was to cook or bake anything from a country starting with the letter “A”. That morning, we sat at her kitchen counter drinking coffee and listening to the new single "Rooftop" just released by DRAMA. Note, Sammy is the queen of enlivening the moment with flavor, music, and the deep intention she holds for you to feel loved and seen...
As I worked on a Jones + Co social story, I witnessed Samantha take out a bunch of her favorite cook books and surf her go-to online sources for inspiration on what to make. It was something of a ritual to see how much joy she gets out of the entire baking process from start to finish, down to the perfect last bite! Her eyes lit up when she saw a recipe for the popular Latin American dulce de leche confection called alfajores. Not only is this cookie a traditional sweet from Argentina, making it “A” worthy for the party, but this crumbly butter cookie is also often dipped in strong coffee. She laughed. Earlier that morning, I had made us coffee the way my dad makes it. And well, let's just say it has been referred to by many as "liquid jet fuel". And there we were, sipping two strong cups of morning coffee, now dreaming of a sweet treat to dip them into. It was settled… dulce de leche would be the perfect sweet addition to bring this day-to-night full circle!
Here’s the recipe, published in The NY Times ... We added a few touches..
- MycoLove Farm's Reishi Mushroom Tincture for calming down
- The invitation to blast DRAMA's new song while the sugar high kicks in
- plus visit our JonesTok on TikTok for the live take in her kitchen!
Alfajores By Melissa Clark
(yields: about 50 cookies)
- 2 (13.4-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk, labels removed
- 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters brandy
- 1 teaspoon/2 grams finely grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla extract
- 1 cup/125 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon/165 grams cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon/5 grams baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon/1 gram baking soda
- ½ teaspoon/3 grams fine sea salt, plus a pinch for dulce de leche
- ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons/141 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup/100 grams finely ground dried coconut
- We added: 1 dropper of MycoLove Farm's Reishi Mushroom Tincture
- Make the dulce de leche: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then carefully lower condensed milk cans on their sides into the water. Simmer for 3 hours 15 minutes, refilling with hot water as needed to keep cans submerged. Never let the water boil away, or the cans could burst. Using tongs, transfer cans to a rack to let cool completely before opening.
- In a small bowl, combine brandy, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and beat to combine, then add brandy mixture and beat until just combined. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log about 1½ inches thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from plastic wrap and slice into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Place on prepared sheet pans, then bake until edges start to turn golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer each pan to a rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine dulce de leche with remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and a large pinch of salt.
- Add MycoLove Farm's Reishi Mushroom Tincture then spoon the mixture into a plastic zipper bag and cut a corner off. (Or you could scoop it into a pastry bag if you prefer, or just use a spoon.)
- Flip half of the cookies upside down and pipe a thick layer of dulce de leche onto bottoms (or use a spoon to spoon the mixture on). Top with remaining cookies to sandwich the dulce de leche in the middle. Roll sides in coconut. Eat right away, or store in the refrigerator until serving.
- We added this one... Listen to Rooftop by DRAMA and have yourself a dance party once the sugar high kicks in!
How did they turn out? It's worth logging onto the Jones Tok on Tik Tok, to see Sammy's face as she takes the first chef's bite! Taste for yourself... make it, tag us on IG, and let us know how they turned out!
Here's to savoring life's sweet moments with friends!