Alfajores are sandwich cookies popular in many Latin American countries. I had bookmarked Gayathri’s recipe when she had posted it during the month long International Cuisine back in September. She made it eggless and I followed the original recipe which had egg yolks. Cookies are sandwiched with Dulce de Leche. Dulce de Leche is condensed caramelized sweet milk; it is prepared by condensing condensed milk. Dulce de Leche is available in stores but on the day I made alfajores, I could not find any in the stores nearby and made it at home.
These cookies are rich and loaded with calories. I did not want all those calories on my waist. I made these cookies during Thanksgiving week and took them to my cousin’s place where we all had gathered for the long weekend. I shared all those calories and the cookies with my cousins. I could not take decent pictures as it was pretty late by the time I made these. The bottom picture was taken with a point & shoot and the first picture in a hurry at my cousin's place.
Though these cookies are made of cornstarch / corn flour, they tasted like sugar cookies. Sandwich cookies can be sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar. Other toppings suggestions are sweetened coconut flakes, roasted coconut flakes, sprinkles or nuts.
Source: Cooking Classy
Total Time: 65 – 105 minutes
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 – 60 minutes
Bake Time: 10 -11 minutes per batch
Yields: 18 - 20 sandwich cookies
- 1 ¼ cup Cornstarch
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 10 tbsp. Butter
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. Lemon Zest
- 3 large Egg Yolks
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- ¼ - ½ tsp. Coconut Extract (opt. I used Vanilla)
- Lemon Juice, as needed
- ⅔ – 1 can Dulce de Leche (I made it at home with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk)
- In a bowl mix together cornstarch, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and keep aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until creamy.
- Mix in lemon zest and add egg yolk one at a time, mixing after each addition until well blended. Add in vanilla extract and coconut extract if using.
- Reduce the speed to low, gradually add dry ingredients, continue mixing until flour is combined and dough forms. If required add a few teaspoon of lemon juice. I used my handheld mixer and after adding flour, I used my hands to make the dough and shape it into a ball. Do not knead the dough too much to make a ball. The dough will be flaky and crumbly. Just gather the butter flour mixture to make a dough ball. The dough will be manageable after chilling it.
- Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. I refrigerated it for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Divide the dough into 2 -3 equal parts. I found it easy working with 3 parts. Roll each chilled dough balls between two parchment or wax papers to ⅛ – 1/16” thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut the rolled out dough into circles. I used round and flower shaped cutters.
- Slide a wide knife the bottom of the cutout cookie and transfer to a cookie sheet. I found it easier lifting it off with hand and transferring to the cookie sheet. Mind you, when lifting by hand, cookies could bend a little.
- Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Gather the scraps of dough and roll it out again and cut it using cookie cutters.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-11 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to cooling rack. I baked in two batches. While the first bath was baking, I rolled and cut the rest of the cookies for second batch. Cool cookies completely before spreading Dulce de Leche.
- Dulce de Leche – is available in super markets or can easily be made at home. Bring water to boil in a big pot. Make sure can of condensed milk is always immersed in water during this cooking process. When water comes to boil, place unopened can of condensed milk boil water and simmer for 3 hours. Make sure the can is always immersed in water and add more water if required while simmering. For the first 45 – 60 minutes boiled the water on medium flame and later on low flame. Remove from water and let Dulce de Leche cool completely.
- Sandwiches – Once the cookies and Dulce de Leche are completely cooled, spread some Dulce de Leche on one side of the cookie and cover it with the other cookie. I served them as it is but for a variation, spread a thin layer of Dulce de Leche around the edge of each sandwich and roll it in coconut flakes, chopped nuts, sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
- Store alfajores in an airtight container at room temperature.
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