Daring Bakers November Challenge 2012: Twelve Days of Cookies

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

The challenge recipe I chose to make was the chocolate sables, recipe here.  I left out the egg yolk as I had read some other recipes on the internet that did not use it, so I thought I’d see how it went.  The cookies were delicious, crumbly with big chunks of chocolate and not too sweet.  They even seemed to get better with time!  Try them crumbled up in vanilla ice cream for an excellent version of cookies and cream.

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As my second cookie, I made Alfajores, which are South American corn starch based cookies, filled with dulce de leche.  I used the recipe from familyfoodie.com, which have a little lemon zest as well as vanilla for flavour.  Dulce de Leche, whilst readily available in Spain is quite expensive, so I made my own using the oven method, which seems a lot safer than boiling sweet and condensed milk in a pan and is also much faster.  Simply pour a can of sweetened condensed milk with a sprinkle of salt into a pyrex tray and bake at about 180 degrees until golden brown (time varies with your oven-mine took about an hour but my oven is terrible).  When it is golden whisk it up to get rid of any lumps and leave to cool and set a little before using.

The cookies were lovely and crumbly, although very sweet and with a tendency to stick your mouth together!

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 This was an excellent challenge, Ill probably make a few more cookies before Christmas hits!!

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Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Turron

As I was fortunate enough to receive an ice cream maker for Christmas I have been eagerly trying it out- with some pretty good results.  This recipe for Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Turron is based loosely on a basic ice cream recipe from the Ice Cream Ireland website, as these have given me very good results in the past with a smooth, creamy ice cream.

Turron is a Spanish confectionery that come in various forms, most traditionally a crunchy sugar, egg white and almond sweet or a soft crumbly almond mix.  However, now at Christmas it is possible to find turron in a huge variety of flavours- mostly with little resemblance to the original product and a lot featuring chocolate.   The turron I used in this case was  a less traditional type.  Basically it was a thick block of milk chocolate with a slightly truffley texture with small pieces of biscuit throughout.  It was on sale after Christmas, so I thought I’d whack it in.  It could be replaced with any type of chocolate bar, perhaps one with nuts or biscuit pieces for a little more crunch. I am a big fan of chunks in ice cream, the more the better, so if you prefer a smoother ice cream experience you may want to reduce the quantity of chunks!

Dulce De Leche is a product made from the heating and caramelisation of sweetened milk to for a caramel flavoured spread.  It is super sweet, but delicious as a spread on toast, in cakes and cooking and by itself on a spoon.  It is readily available in all Spanish supermarkets, and probably in good supermarkets or specialty stores else where.  If you can’t find it however, there are countless recipes on the internet for making it at home.

I did intend to have swirls of dulce de leche throughout the ice cream, but this didn’t really go to plan as the dulce de leche combined with the custard and flavoured the whole ice cream (not really a big problem!).  Perhaps the ice cream needed to be more frozen when I added the swirl!

The ice cream maker is a simple canister that is placed in the freezer until you need to use it (at least 24 hours works best).  The custard is then added to the machine as it churns.  It is very important to start the churning before you add the custard as if you add the custard first and then start the machine up, the padel may have difficulty moving due to frozen ice cream on the sides of the canister.  Even with this simple machine the results as far superior to making the ice cream by hand, not to mention a lot less labor intensive.  The ice cream is far creamier and there are less crystals.  It also seems to maintain a scoopable texture in the freezer, rather than freezing solid.

The turron, (or any other mix in you desire), is best added after the churning process is completed, before finally putting the ice cream in the freezer.  This prevents it from sinking to the bottom, as the ice cream it thick enough to support it. 

Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Chocolate Turron (method based on basic recipe from Ice Cream Ireland)

5 egg yolks

125g sugar

200ml milk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

230ml whipping cream

1/2 cup or more dulce de leche

100g (or more if you like lots of chunks) chocolate turron or chocolate bar of your choice cut into large chunks.

  1. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.
  2. Bring the milk to a low simmer.
  3. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow  steady stream.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.
  5. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs!
  6. Immediately remove from the heat.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Whip the cream until it has doubled in volume (you should have soft peaks – don’t over-whip).
  9. Fold the cream (gently stir) into the custard.
  10. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, adding the dulce de leche when the ice cream is already quite solid.
  11. Otherwise, cover and place in the freezer, again adding the toffee when it has become semi-solid.
  12. If you’re using a domestic ice cream machine, transfer to a freezer-proof covered container when the ice cream has achieved a semi-solid consistency (around 15 minutes).
  13. Fold in chunks of turron at this stage.
  14.  Place it in the freezer, and continue to freeze until it is solid.