Box2Bake delivers recipes and ingredients to adventurous bakers each month. Each month, subscribers will get pre-measured organic ingredients and two recipes from around the world – one original recipe and another with a twist – for only $29.00 per per month. You’ll also get baking tools and tips, too!
Note that this subscription has 4 options at checkout – the gift box (1 recipe), and the adventures (2 recipes), and then 3 month versions of each.
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The recipes we got this month are Strawberry Jam Alfajores and Chocolate Alfajores, a corn starch based cookie popular throughout South America. This version claims Brazilian heritage.
The kit included all of the dry ingredients and decorative items for making both recipes.
Everything in this month’s box!
High-quality reusable plastic cookie cutters were provided to make our alfajores into adorable heart shapes. They even threw in some candy to enjoy while we bake!
The dry ingredients are bagged and clearly labelled. The same basic ingredients were needed for both the original and variant versions of the cookies, so we had two identical bags of each letter.
Item D was the filling for the cookies – it came in a handy, giant syringe. We had chocolate for the chocolate version of the alfajores, plus coconut flakes.
The strawberry alfajores had strawberry jam and red dye.
The recipes were identical up until the filling of the cookies. Both versions called for mixing in the food coloring, but only the strawberry version listed the coloring among the ingredients, so I only added it to that batch. Since both a small and large heart were included, I wanted to make use of both. The only item we had to contribute from home was a bunch of butter (11 TBSP for each batch of cookies). I didn’t think that tiny hearts would cook properly – instead, I cut a window in half of the cookies, so we could see the filling through the top cookie of each sandwich. The dough made about 16 cookies – enough for 8 sandwiches. My chocolate alfajores were perhaps a little thicker, so I only got 7 sandwiches worth.
The dough mixed easily and could be re-rolled without any detriment to the texture. It had a very silky texture and wasn’t overly sticky or hard to work with. Chilling and re-chilling the dough after each re-rolling helped a lot. If chilled too firm, though, they became very susceptible to breaking. Using the tiny heart was a little tricky, and having properly chilled dough was essential.
The cookies baked well on parchment, and they didn’t burn at all. The surface of the cookies remained very soft and smear-able until the cookies were completely cool. Minor cracks made during rolling and cutting seemed to firm up during baking, and the cookies held together well during transfer to the rack.
The decorating step was incredibly easy – the syringes were so much easier to use than a pastry bag or other device, particularly since they came pre-filled. The strawberry jam was thick, but it was still very running for a cookie filling. It didn’t leak, but any non-level bottom cookies saw their tops slowly drift. I propped the couple of lopsided ones against the side of the pan – after sitting for awhile, the jam congealed and held the tops firm.
The chocolate was very thick and took a little pressure to apply. The instructions noted that it could be microwaved briefly, if needed.
We rolled the chocolate alfajores in the coconut flakes. I noticed that the first one didn’t grab much coconut, so I added more filling to each cookie.
The window cutout worked very well, though these cookies were more fragile than the bottoms.
The coconut added some nice textural interest and helped keep the filling contained – it’s tough to handle these without getting some on your fingers!
I liked the strawberry ones even better. They were a lovely color, and I thought the jam flavor was a better complement to the cookie.
The jam solidified quickly, and it didn’t slide around at all after setting briefly.
The cookies looked very nice when finished, and they make for an impressive presentation.
Each cookie is thick to begin with, but once filled and stacked into a sandwich, they are huge!
I had to try both kinds – eating two of these fills you right up.
I made windows for every top, but the bottom side of the cookies looked quite good, too. The side showing here was the pan side of the cookies, and you can see that they remained very light colored.
These are great cookies to stack and serve with a hot beverage – they make an imposing tower of treats.
This was a fun kit to make, and the kids were able to help with some cookie cutting and jam application. The recipe was unique, and not something I would have thought of to try on my own. I had no idea that cookies could be made using that amount of corn starch! They tasted slightly floury at first, but that mellowed after they sat overnight, and they were much better the next day. The instructions were easy to follow, and the recipe was very simple. I loved the use of syringes for the filling – it was the most hassle-free method ever! The two varieties of cookie were pretty much identical, except for the filling. The variant wasn’t as big a “twist” on the original as I was expecting, but it did produce a noticeably different finished product. Getting two batches of dessert in the box increases the value proposition, but you do have to provide the butter.