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Alfajores – Spanish shortbread

Both G & I have a “thing” for something sweet after dinner.  I know, not the best thing for the waistline but it is just one of those things that we can’t seem to deny ourselves.  Usually whatever sweet little morsel we choose is accompanied by a good quality cup of coffee.  Earlier this week G was hunting for that illusive treat to go with his cuppa but unfortunately a cookie monster had left our cupboard rather bare.  Knowing that I had a little spare time today I decided to create something a little different.  For some unknown reason we don’t tend to eat much shortbread.  I think it is just that they tend to be so rich and buttery that they can become sickly if you have more than one. 

I decided to make these because they were a little different to my normal type of biscuit that I like to bake.  Also, having one sweet treat after dinner (rather than several) is possibly not a bad thing.

alfajores – spanish shortbread 
makes approximately 40











My tips:  *I didn’t have any aniseed so I decided to grind up some star anise, not exactly the same flavour but good enough for me as a first try.  You could substitute cinnamon if you prefer of just have them with the lemon.  *I used a floured board and cutter as I found this mixture a little soft and sticky when rolling it out and cutting shapes.  I also rolled mine a little thinner than the 1cm thickness suggested in the recipe.  *I needed to cook these for about 25 minutes to ensure they were cooked in the centre.  I found this a little odd as my oven normally cooks slightly hot.  

ease: 7/10.  This mixture is very soft and can be difficult to roll out and cut, especially if the weather is a little warm.   
prep time: 30mins + chilling, cooling and decorating.
cooking time: 25mins.
total: 2hours including chilling.

taste: 7/10.  The texture was shorter than normal shortbread.  The lemon and sherry worked well.  I think they were better with a little more, rather than less icing sugar.  G commented that initially he found them too short but they seemed better the day after they were made.  At first he ate them on their own, the next day he had them with coffee and said they were much better.  In fact these seemed to improve both in flavour and texture a few days after they were made.

would I make it again: Maybe – I like that these were a bit different but life is too short for biscuits that are a little difficult to make and not quite as delicious as others.  If I wanted something different for friends I’d try them again.

Alfajores Recipe – Feature recipe from Gourmet Traveller online

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