October 02, 2012

To Try Tuesday - Alfajores

A few days ago I was amazed to discover that I have a magic cupboard in my kitchen.  How cool is that?  All I have to do is put a can of condensed milk in there and when I get it back out a few days later, it has turned into dulce de leche.  This is so convenient since I haven't been able to buy a tin of it here. On the other hand it also shows how hot my kitchen has been, which is not so fun.

The condensed milk was to be used in a passion fruit cheesecake, so the fact that it was caramelized was not going to work in that recipe.  I quickly went out and got a new tin so I could make my cheesecake but then I was left with a can of dulce de leche.  After a quick search I found a couple of recipes for alfajores which are a soft shortbread-like cookie that has caramel sandwiched in the middle and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. They are very popular in Latin America and some areas of Spain.  I thought they would be very popular in my household too.

The first recipe that caught my attention during my search was at one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker.  Michelle always has great recipes and amazing photos.  I did a little more research and kept seeing that some people like to add cornstarch to their alfajores, so I decided to base my recipe on the one I saw on Brown Eyed Baker, but replace a little of the flour with cornstarch.

These definitely get my seal of approval.  I would definitely describe them as moreish - the more you eat the more you want.  They are just the perfect couple of bites with a cup of coffee.  I am going to have to send them to school with my girls tomorrow or they are going to be calling out to me all day.

Printer Friendly Recipe

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • ½ cup cold water
  • dulce de leche, chilled
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

  1. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and sugar mixture with the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  3. With the machine running, pour in the water in a slow stream, and process just until the dough comes together, about.
  4. Form the dough into two flattened disks, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line two baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  6. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to just under a ¼-inch in thickness.
  7. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. 
  8. Repeat with the other disk of dough. Gather up all the scraps and re-roll and cut.
  9. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Spread 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche on the bottom of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich, and dust with powdered sugar to finish. 
  11. Finished cookies should be eaten the same day they are assembled. Unfilled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about days.
  12. Makes approximately 20-25 filled cookies. 
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

1 comment:

  1. Those look wonderful, Felice! I had a cupboard like that in my last house, right next to the obviously not well insulated oven. :)

    My girls are great fans of dulce de leche so I'll try these when they get home for Christmas!


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