I took one of my favourite cookies and made it into an ice cream sammie! Alfajores are a popular Spanish and Latin American dessert. The cookies are similar to a shortbread cookie but not as crumbly. The cornstarch in the mixture gives the dough a smooth satiny texture. Traditionally, they are filled with dulce de leche which is made by slowly reducing fresh milk and sugar until the mixture thickens into a sweet and silky caramel. I bought my Dulce de Leche already prepared from my local grocery store.
I thought this traditional golden caramel-like filling would taste delicious blended into a homemade ice cream so that is exactly what I did! Rolling the sandwiches in coconut flakes is optional but brings these ice cream sammies to a whole new level!
The cookies were really easy to make. I kept an eye on them to make sure I didn’t over cook them. Only the bottom of the cookie should brown and the top should remain pale in colour.
I churned the dulce de leche ice cream and then formed it into a log using plastic wrap so that I could cut thick slices of ice cream that could easily stack between the shortbread cookies. After I rolled them in coconut flakes, I refroze the entire ice cream sandwich on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I noticed that this made them easier to eat because the freezer made the cookie a little bit chewy and the ice cream didn’t squish out the sides.
I hope you all enjoy this fun spin on one of my favourite cookies!
- Dulce De Leche Ice Cream:
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups milk
- ⅔ cup + ⅓ cup dulce de leche
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of shredded coconut for garnish
- Make the Ice Cream: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, milk and ⅔ cup of the dulce de leche. Stir frequently until the mixture is very warm but not boiling (about 4-5 minutes).
- In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until blended. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture, stirring constantly until fully incorporated. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens and coats the back of the wooden spoon, about 5 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil).
- Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until very cold (at least 4 hours).
- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. In the last minute of the churning phase, drizzle the remaining dulce de leche into the churning ice cream just until swirled throughout.
- Transfer the ice cream to a bowl fitted with plastic wrap. Using your hands, form into a log that is about 2 ½ inches in diameter (you will use this to cut rounds of ice cream for your ice cream sandwiches). Freeze until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
- Make the Cookies: Sift the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl once with a spatula, until the mixture is pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated (about 30 seconds).
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a smooth ball, and wrap it tightly. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll to ¼-inch thickness (the dough will crack but can be easily patched back together). Stamp out rounds using a plain 2½-inch round cutter. Reroll the dough and cut out cookies until all of it is used.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, 12 per sheet and at least ½ inch apart. Bake until the cookies are firm and pale golden on the bottom, about 12 to 14 minutes. (The cookies will remain pale on the surface). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Assemble your Ice Cream Sandwiches: Pour your coconut flakes into a shallow bowl. Remove your ice cream log from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Cut the log into 1 ½ inch thick rounds, working very quickly as the ice cream will melt. Add one ice cream round on top of one cookie and top with another cookie. Roll the perimeter of the cookie into the coconut flakes. The flakes will stick to the ice cream. Repeat this process until all of the ice cream and cookies are used up. Place the assembled ice cream sandwiches on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for at least an hour to have them set.