On the weekends I decide what to bake for the upcoming week. Knowing I had alfajores on the menu, I decided to save $ and see what I could do to turn an ordinary coconut into flake coconut. Sounds a little Cinderella-ish, don’t you think? It just made since because coconuts are so prevalent here, yet small 200g bags of grated coco sell for the same price as an entire coconut.
Raw to Dried Shredded Coconut Tutorial
First, I used 2 screwdrivers to whack holes into the “eyes” of the coconut to drain the pipa water. At this point I was wishing Husband had a tool set with a hammer instead of our humble 2 screwdrivers that are our only tools.
I went online to find the easiest way to bash it apart sans hammer, and learned that it will split all by itself if baked in a 350F oven for about 15 min. After this bake, it had a nice gash along the middle, but still required more effort.
I wrapped Mr. Coco in swaddling clothes..er, rather a towel, and plunked him on the head a few times with my biggest skillet. He finally gave in.
Some of the coco meat detached easily from the shell, but other pieces went back to the inferno (oven) to loosen up a bit. After this brief heat stroke, Mr. Coco gave it up to me. All of it.
From there it was easy: use veggie peeler to remove brown skin, grate, bake at 275F for 20 minutes stirring halfway through, cool, finito!
Husband loves dulce de leche nearly as much as futbol, which means alfajores are high on his list. While I think they’re okay, I wouldn’t give them 5 stars. I like exotic, strong flavors. These alfajores baked up just like the ones sold in this area of the world, and I know our neighbors will love em’, but there’s just something about a bland butter cookie that makes me sigh and hand mine to Husband. He likes that.
1 stick butter or margarine, room temp
2 T. brandy I used water since we didn’t have it around
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon or lime zest
2 c. AP flour
1 c. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. dulce de leche
1/2 c. flake or grated coconut
Beat butter and sugar 2 minutes. Add yolks, vanilla, & brandy. Add dry ingredients, mix to combine and chill 2 hours. Turn oven to 325F and roll cookie dough to 1/4″ thickness. Use cookie cutter of choice (traditionally circular) and place cookies on greased baking sheet. Bake 15 min., cool, then fill with dulce de leche, top with another cookie, and roll in coco.