Finding that memory was as bright as catching trees bursting into bloom. It was a memory from when Miel was barely old enough to make them. After that, she would turn three, and four, and the roses would come, and they would take everything. But she could hold on to this, her hands and Leandro’s pale with sugar and flour.
Alfajores de nieve, coated in powdered sugar so each looked made of winter.
She didn’t have Leandro anymore, or his hands, smooth and dark as finished wood. But she had Sam, this boy and his brown hands.
Miel pulled her eyes from the knotted carpet, and looked up at Sam. “I think I am hungry.”
“Yeah?” Sam’s smile was slight, but without caution. “Anything in particular?”
Miel pushed herself up on her hands, her body stiff as if she’d slept on it wrong. “Have I ever shown you how to make alfajores?”
I can say with absolute confidence that Miel had every right to believe these little bites of winter would cheer her up. Alfajores, small confections from Latin America, are the perfect bite of butter, confectioners sugar, and dulce de leche. They’re versatile, fun, and downright adorable.
I found the recipe here over at Chowhound and though I was nervous I would mess up somewhere, they’re a pretty simple treat to recreate. Some tips!
- Make them your own. I used a 2-inch fluted cookie/biscuit cutter and mini star cookie cutters in the middle.
- The 2-inch cookie cutters were a good idea because the recipe says it makes 12 cookies. I ended up with 24?
- The dough, when you roll it out after it’s been chilled, will be crumbly. Don’t fear! Add a little flour and be patient. It will mold back together.
- Consider adding some lemon zest to your dough. It will complement the flavors wonderfully.
- The flavor of brandy is very subtle. I bought a bottle just for this recipe but I’m sure you could substitute another liquor if you don’t have any.
- You might want to invest in rolling pin rings like these from Amazon to ensure a more even dough. You’ll get an even bake and a more successful cookie if the dough is rolled out to the same thickness.
Those are really all the tips you need! These will make another appearance in my home. If you’re having a sad day? Follow Miel’s advice, fire up your oven, and start kneading that dough. These will cheer you up in no time flat.
My review of When the Moon Was Ours is coming soon. I know, I’ve been saying this for a while now. But when I write the review, it’ll truly be over. And I’m sad about that.