Friends traveling in Argentina might bring you a box of these cookies. They are the classic Argentinian food gift — like Ghirardelli chocolate from San Francisco, or Goo Goo clusters from Nashville, Tennessee. Havanna is an Argentinian company that began selling alfajor cookies in 1948. Later the company expanded to include a chain of coffee shops throughout Argentina, which sell alfajores and other confections. Havanna products became synonymous with Argentina, and tourists buy the alfajores and other treats to bring home as gifts.
One of the most popular Havanna products are the havannets, which are small cookies topped with a cone of dulce de leche, dipped in chocolate. If you can't easily find an authentic havannet to sample in your area, it's not too hard to make your own. They are very impressive-looking, fun to make, unusual, and delicious.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie dough and roll out on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut 1 to 1 1/2 inch round cookies, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake cookies until just barely golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet. You should have between 30 and 40 cookies.
- Fit a large piping bag with a 1/2-inch wide round tip. Fill bag with half of the dulce de leche. If you don't have a bag and tip, you can place the dulce de leche in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, then snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 1/2 inch opening.
- Pipe dulce de leche onto each cookie in a cone shape, squeezing the dulce de leche out so that it reaches the edges of the cookie then gradually lifting and decreasing the pressure as you lift the tip of the piping bag so that dulce de leche forms a generous cone shape, about 1-2 inches tall. Refill piping bag as needed, and top all of the cookies with dulce de leche.
- Place cookie sheet with cookies in the freezer for at least one hour.
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Work with one type of chocolate at a time, if you plan to dip the cones into different kinds of chocolate. (If you would like to temper the chocolate, which gives it a nice shine and snap, see how to temper chocolate).
- Working in small batches, use a fork to dip the frozen cookie/dulce de leche cones into the melted chocolate, covering them completely and letting excess chocolate drip back into the bowl before placing cookies upright on a piece of wax paper. You can use a second fork to gently slide the cookies off of the dipping fork. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow chocolate to cool and harden before serving. Cookies will keep for several days or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.