While I’d love to tell you that my time time at BlogHerFood 2010 #blogherfood was all about the sessions at the conference, that is not entirely true. In all honesty, it was also about the food and most importantly about the people. That is not in any way to minimize the quality sessions that I attended, I thought that the show organizers really put a lot of thought into making this event full of enrichment tracks and packed with speakers I couldn’t wait to hear. But at the end of the day, I know my experience was all the more satisfying because of what the people attending brought into the mix– the ‘social’ into ‘networking’; the element most often missed as we communicate on Twitter and FaceBook and LinkedIn.
For my second attendance at #blogherfood I wanted to bring something special to a few special people that I was fortunate enough to meet over the past few years. (The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie was the treat I brought to BlogHer 09 Food – worth a try if you love the coffee and chocolate combo!) And I’d like to think these little colorful boxes, with home made treats inside, were coveted by those who received them and enjoyed by them as much as I enjoyed making them with my lovely friend Avanti Morocha.
Inside each box were four petite home baked alfajores. What is an alfajores you ask? Well it is something like a blond Oreo cookie stuffed with caramel sauce – the cookies are a soft butter cookie infused with orange zest, and drenched in powdered sugar, and well the rest is just yummy goodness.
While the word alfajor stems from the Arabic al-hasú, which means filled or stuffed, the history of this cookie can be traced to Andalusia Spain. Alfajores are popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, although they can be found throughout South America in many different varieties.
Note: Immediately following the recipe post is my photo essay, which I hope reflects some of the great photo tips I learned from Todd Porter and and Diane Cu.
Avanti Morocha’s Soon-to-be-famous ALFAJORES
1¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
3 TBS butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp orange peel, zested
2 TBS milk (more if necessary)
1 cup manjar blanco (caramel), you can buy Nestle’s Dulce de Leche (13.5 oz) can
In a medium-size bowl, sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder. In a small-size bowl whip butter and sugar until well creamed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, while beating the butter mixture. Add sifted ingredients and orange peel.
Knead with hands, forming a ball. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 20 minutes. Often times, if the recipe is doubled, the mixture may seems too dry, and you will need to add additional milk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously flour a flat surface and roll dough approximately 1/8 inch thick. Using a small cookie cutter, about the size of nickle. Cut circles and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until edges begin to color. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To assemble, the caramel cookie sandwich, take one cookie and generously spread with manjar blanco/dules de leche. Cover with another cookie. Generously sprinkle with sifted confectioner’s sugar.
Don’t hold back, gobble them up! They are worthy of the work involved to make them.
Yields: 54 cookies, plus some tasters
Note: If you want to make the manjar blanco recipe, read on:
10 cups of milk
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or half of a stick of vanilla
In a medium-size sauce pan, lightly coated with water, boil the milk, stirring constantly. When the milk begins to boil, add the sugar and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon being careful to not let it stick to the pan. When the mixture begins to stick to the spoon, and you start to see the bottom of the pan, move to a plate. The mixture should not be loose.
Continue to stir it, once it is removed from the heat so that the mixture softens slightly.
BlogHer Food 10 Begins!
The party at Orson’s kicked off the Scharffenberger and TootiFoodie Chocolate Adventure Contest complete with a fun blind taste test of some of their previous adventure ingredients, and chocolate recipe sampling. Thank you to Marcia Gagliardi/Tablehopper, Scharffenberger, TuttiFoodie and Orson, it was a great way to start the fun and get those taste buds flowing.
La Petite Soirée was an event to behold, the foodie theme was SF food carts and each one was better than the next – Girl From Empanada, Sataysfied, Local Flavor, Good Eats + more! I wish it had been possible to bring a second stomach to this event, as I was stuffed and wished I could eat seconds! Thank you to Stefania Pomponi Butler, Helen McSweeney Kristen Doyle, and Jane Maynard.
And for the foodie event crescendo (AKA the closing party), at the California Culinary Academy, home of Le Cordon Bleu, Elise Bauer, Jaden Hair, and Ree Drummond hosted the first all gluten free party I’ve ever attended. It proved to me that everyone could eat gluten free and not feel deprived; it was delicious! I am still dreaming about at least 6 of the recipes served. I am inspired!
Thanks to BlogHer for such a great conference! It was mentally stimulating, socially engaging and totally foodgasmic!
To read additional recaps of the conference, there are a few links to reference (and if you’d like to have your post added to the list, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org):
The Italian Dish: BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco
Panini Happy: Memorable Moments from BlogHer Food ’10
Bay Area Bites: BlogHer Food Conference, Day 2
Celiacs in the House: BlogHer Food 2010
Celiac Teen: BlogHer Food and Irish Soda Buns
Chef Druck: 9 Cheap Props Every Budding Food Blogger Needs
Dine and Dish: Defining Success (Recipe: Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies)
Eat the Love: Don’t Forget the Homos! Blogher Food 2010
Everyday Alice (of SavorySweetLife): BlogHer Food 10 – My Blog Conference Take Away
Food Blogga: Nine Things I Learned at BlogHer Food 10 Conference
Food Woolf: How to Go to a Food Blogging Conference
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Chestnut Orange Crisps
Picky Palate: BlogHer Food Extravaganza
Steamy Kitchen: Oinker
Use Real Butter: something about best intentions + blogher food 2010 recap
What’s Gaby Cooking BlogHer Food and San Fran
Will Write for Food: BlogHer Food, the Love Fest
White on Rice: Appreciation- Speaking at Blogher Food 2010
***And last of all, for those whom might enjoy reading my take-aways from BlogHer 09 Food: The Denied Inner Cook (the monster post unwrapped) you may just see a few familiar faces. Enjoy!