Good morning friends!

How was your weekend? I hope you had a great time!

July is a month full of celebrations in my home country, Argentina, and it all starts during the first week of the month: From 1st until 7th of July, Argentina celebrates “Sweetness week”. During this week, argentinians exchange a sweet (chocolate, candy, etc) for a kiss.

The tradition originated as part of a promotion campaign to increase the sale of sweets,  especially of ARCOR’s bon-o-bon, but it was quickly embraced by the population. Sweetness week is now a time, not only to give away chocolates and candies, but also to be nice to those around us.

Would you like to join in the celebrations, wherever you are?

If you do, Delicious Tea has some adorable free printables that can be printed on sticker paper and attached to individual sweets,  or printed on cardboard paper and attached to a gift box. If you would like to use them, all you have to do is “like” their facebook page, “like” their album,  leave your email address in the comment below the pictures, and they will send them to you!

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If you also want to offer your loved ones some traditionally argentinian home-made sweets, here is my recipe for alfajores de maizena,  or conrstarch cookies (which are the ones you can see in the picture at the beginning of this post):

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

800 grs cornstarch

300 grs all-purpose flour

350 grs sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

4 eggs + 3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 kg butter

For the filling:

Dulce de leche

Shredded coconut

Preparation:

1-Mix butter and sugar until creamy.

2- Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well, but not too much- just until all ingredients are incorporated.

3- In a different bowl,  mix the dry ingredients.

4- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly until you have a workable dough (it should have the texture, more or less,  of a pâte sablée)

5- Roll the dough on a floured surface and cut with a round cookie cutter, about 1/2 cm thick.

6- Place on a baking tray covered with baking paper or greased, and put in the oven at 150º C/305 F for about 10 minutes.

Very important: the cookies SHOULD NOT get brown or they will be hard and crumby. Watch them very carefully while they are cooking!

7- Once they are cooked, remove from the oven and let them cool for half an hour.

Assembly:

1- Put shredded coconut in a bowl.

2- Put a layer of dulce de leche on the inside of one cookie,  and then place another cookie on top (like a dulce de leche sandwich).

3- Put dulce de leche on the sides of the cookie sandwich with a spatula/knife, and then roll it in shredded coconut (the coconut will then attach to the sides of the cookie).

NOTE: The recipe above is for traditional alfajores de maizena. You can see a picture of wonderfully executed ones, made by Amy,The Sugar Fairy (using this recipe) here.  The ones I made for my birthday were coloured to match my dessert table, and filled with buttercream and lemon curd, instead of dulce de leche. This is the beauty of these cookies: they are easy to make and very versatile! If you want to colour the dough, just add a few drops of food colouring at the end of the preparation. This dough can be stored in the freezer.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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