Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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A Winner of a Cookie — Winter Delights

December 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Congratulations to Valerie Haines, the principal at Freedom Shores Elementary School in Boynton Beach, for her winning cookie, Winter Delights. They took top awards at the annual Palm Beach Post Holiday Cookie Contest this year. (You can find photos of all the winners and their recipes on the Palm Beach Post’s web food page.)

“I’m not a baker, but I make these every year,” Haines said. “My secretary read about the contest in the Post and told me if I’d bake them, she’d take them in to enter for me, so I did.”

The delicate cookies filled with caramel-like dulce de leche were inspired by one of her favorites, a South American standard, the alfajor. “I visited South America, and had these cookies, and when I got home from the trip, I wanted to reproduce them — I loved them so much,” she said. “So I played with recipes and came up with this — it’s not exactly the same but pretty close. Everybody loves them when I take them to school.”

We contest judges loved them, too. They’re perfect with a cup of coffee or better yet, an espresso.

Here’s the winning recipe – Haines got $50 and her picture in the paper!

Winter delights

From Valerie Haines, West Palm Beach

For filling:

  • 1 can condensed milk

For cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 /2 cup fine sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for dusting both sides of cookies

Make the filling first to allow it to cool. Simmer the unopened can of milk in a pot, covered, for 1 hour; allow to cool before opening. Do NOT boil rapidly, as the can could burst; do not put in microwave.

Make the cookies: Use the paddle attachment of an electric mixer to blend the butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high. Reduce speed, and add flour, salt and vanilla extract.

Two options for making cookies: Use a cookie press (dough at room temperature), or refrigerate the dough for 2 hours and roll out and cut into shapes, making a reverse of every irregular shape to create the sandwich cookies. Cookie should be about 1/ 4 -inch thick.

Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes, or until just lightly toasted. Set aside to cool on a rack. Once completely cool, spread one cookie bottom with the cooked milk and top with the other cookie. Set aside until all are done; sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar; flip and sprinkle second side.

Yield depends on size of cutter or cookie press pattern.

Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking!

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 usuwanie sopli Warszawa // Apr 10, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I comment whenever I like a article on a site or if I have something to add to the discussion. Usually it is triggered by the sincerness displayed in the post I looked at. And after this post A Winner of a Cookie &. I was moved enough to leave a thought 😉 I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be simply me or does it look like a few of these remarks come across as if they are written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional sites, I’d like to follow you. Would you make a list all of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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