The lovely Kristy from the blog, Keepin’ It Kind hosted a 2013’s Vegan Cookie Swap Party and 24 of her favorite bloggers (including me) contributed a vegan cookie recipe. I’ve long been a fan of Kristy and her husband Chris’ Keepin’ It Kind blog and I’m thrilled to be part of her fabulous Vegan Cookie Swap Party! For her Cookie Swap Party, I’ve shared my Vegan Purple Sweet Potatoes Alfajores with Coconut Dulce de Leche. Today I’ve changed the cookie’s name to “Vegan Radiant Orchid Alfajores” because the color of the vegan alfajores represent the Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014.
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
The Argentinian alfajores (pronounced “Al-fah-hoar” according to a local, the “j” has an “h” sound) are soft, round, delicate biscuits, traditionally filled with dulce de leche. A dulce de leche is a rich and thick caramel-looking sauce made by a combination of condensed milk and sugar. In Argentina, they are usually coated with black or white chocolate, or simply covered with powdered sugar.
Instead of making a vegan version of the traditional Argentinian alfajores, I wanted to go beyond. Thanks to Frieda’s Inc, I just happen to have non-GMO Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes in my kitchen that inspired me to make ‘radiant orchid’ alfajores, using the vibrant potatoes in my vegan cookie dough. This seasonal Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes has been a big hit this winter, I also used them in my Mediterranean Harissa Stew (view recipe here). My exotic take on an Argentinian classic is the vegan purple sweet potato alfajores with coconut dulce le leche, dusted with vegan powdered sugar.
Vegan Radiant Orchid Alfajores
Yield: eight 2½-inch alfajores
- ½ cup mashed sweet purple potatoes
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn starch, organic
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup vegan margarine, softened
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
- ¼ cup vegan powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- Coconut Dulce de Leche (makes about ¾ cup)
- 400ml or 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk* (not lite)
- 110g raw Turbinado sugar (scant ⅔ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and stir gently until sugar dissolves and slightly bubbling. Do not let it come to boil. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until mixture darkens and reduces in half for 1½ hours or longer (depends on stovetop). Remove from the stove and let cool at room temperature for ½ hour. Store the sauce in an air-tight jar or container. Chill in refrigerator overnight or about 4 to 6 hours.
Bring water to boil in a medium pot, add potatoes and cook at a brisk simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and mash them until no lumps are visible. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, sift the flour through corn starch. Mix in the ground cinnamon and baking powder; this will be your “flour mixture.” Set aside. In another medium bowl, use an electric mixer (or whisk) at medium speed to combine the margarine and coconut oil until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Reduce to low, add the vanilla extract and mashed purple sweet potatoes, then the “flour mixture.” Mix until all are incorporated.
Flatten dough into a disk to about ¼-inch thickness. Chill rolled dough for about 1 hour. Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter, try to cut 16 circles and place on baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly golden around edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
To assemble vegan alfajores, spread a generous amount of coconut dulce de leche on the cookies (or biscuits). Dust cookies with sifted vegan powdered sugar if desired.
I used Natural Value Coconut Milk (13.5-ounce, 400mL) for the coconut milk. It’s BPA-free, organic, gluten-free and vegan. I also like the Aroy-D brands.
Head on over to my friend Kristy’s blog Keepin’ It Kind and go check out all of the other vegan cookie recipes.
Have you tried alfajores or dulce de leche before? What are you looking forward to for 2014?