Life and alfajores

I think the only way to describe the direction of my life lately is that I feel like a five-year old who’s been watching too many Japanese cartoons. There’s just too much going on, I feel like I’m on the verge of a flashing-light-induced seizure. Total sensory overload.

Quick recap of the past few weeks? Starting an internship. Going to a 15-person conference with a former Afghan minister. Applying for unemployment. Interviews. Commutes. Accepting a job. Finding out my old company might want to ship me back to Baghdad (and encouraging them to do so). Starting companies. Leaving the internship. Iraqi real estate. Kyrgyz class schedules. Wedding planning. Attempting a social life.

My immediate future is going in about twelve trillion directions. It almost seems as if I’m dedicating more time to striking a perfect balance between getting some of these things done and having realistic expectations for what one person is capable of, than to actually doing anything meaningful. (Oh, the woes of first world problems)

I guess I just need to change the channel and relax a bit.

Cookies help. Chocolate helps. And suddenly, life already seems less hectic.

In other pre-recipe news, I’ve been thinking a lot about renovating my humble blog, so be on the look out for some changes in the near future, whether it’s a new look or new types of content, I haven’t decided yet.

– Alfajores – Adapted from Matt Armendariz
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temp
6 tbsp milk
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
dulce de leche*

– Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat
– Whisk flour baking powder and salt together in a bowl, set aside.
– Mix milk, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside.
– Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg and beat until fully incorporated.
– In batches, add some flour, then liquids, then the rest of the flour; beat until a dough forms, about 1-2 minutes.
– Drop dough onto baking sheets and bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cookies should be pale on top and lightly browned on the bottom.
– Sandwich cookies with a bitty scoop of dulce de leche.

*Let’s say, hypothetically, that your friend-from-Brazil brings you a jar of authentic dulce de leche, made with love from a real Brazilian grandmother. Let’s say you put that jar in your cupboard, waiting for the perfect time to use said treat. Let’s say you retrieved said jar to spread on freshly-baked alfajores, only to find that the warm amber hue has taken on a decidedly unappetizing green hue, with spots of fuzz here and there (and let’s not even discuss the smell). If that’s the case, never fear! Melt a few tablespoons of dark chocolate chips with a splash of cream to dip your alfajores in instead, and top with shredded coconut.

It’s good, trust me. I know from experience.