I realized this week, that I haven’t baked a lot recently. I’ve been making mostly dinners and easy breakfasts/snacks. But today, I changed that. I made a treat called alfajores (pronounced alfa-hor-es) which are sandwich cookies. I believe they originated in Spain, but they are very popular in South America now.
The actual cookie is similar to a shortbread, it’s crumbly and light, made with flour, butter, sugar and leavening. But this dough also has a good amount of cornstarch which is important for the recipe because it makes it softer and more tender than a traditional shortbread.
The most distinguishing factor of these cookies is the filling. They are always filled with dulce de leche which is a milk caramel, made from sweetened condensed milk. I used store-bought, but you can use homemade too. The final component which is not necessary – but adds to the visual attraction – is the coconut around the edge.
I chose to make these cookies because my dad’s family is from Argentina. These were one of this favourite treats growing up so I knew he would appreciate me making them. I used a recipe from Muy Delish website (link here).
The dough was so easy to mix together. Since there is a lot of butter, you want the dough to chill in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up. This ensures they keep their shape and do not spread while baking. I found it easy to split the ball of dough in half and then roll the halves, one at a time. Whatever dough I wasn’t rolling, would remain in the fridge until I was ready to use it. And make sure to re-roll your dough scraps, just let it chill in the fridge to firm up again.
I think I rolled my dough a little thinner than the recipe said, because I ended up with about 60 cookies (so 30 sandwiches) instead of 48. But they turned out perfectly, they got a little golden in the oven. Once they are totally cooled, that’s when you spread on a little dulce de leche, close them up and roll in coconut.
I actually only turned about half of the cookies into alfajores. The rest of them, I kept plain and put them in a container in the freezer for long-term snacking.
I hope you make these and love them as much as I do 🙂 .