Latin American Alfajores Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Latin American Alfajores Cookies with Dulce de Leche are a delectable treat popular throughout Latin America. These delicious cookies are made by sandwiching a creamy dulce de leche filling between two light and crumbly shortbread cookies. The result is heavenly!
When traveling throughout Latin America, especially in Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru, you will find Alfajores Cookies, a sandwich-style cookie with dulce de leche filling. The result is a heavenly combination of textures and flavors that make these cookies irresistible.
Whether you’re a fan of Latin American cuisine or love indulging in sweet treats, Alfajores are a must-try. In this blog, we’ll explore the history and cultural significance of Alfajores and provide you with an easy-to-follow recipe to make these delicious cookies at home.
Alfajores and dulce de leche became common terms early in my marriage. Living in Argentina following college, my husband’s love of both became evident with his animated descriptions of the rich caramel of dulce de leche and freshly baked Alfajores Tea Cookies or tea biscuits.
Writing for The Seattle Times, Leora Bloom describes a trip to Patagonia’s windswept Torres del Paine National Park. Along with sweeping views and amazing vistas, she also discovered a love for Alfajores Tea Cookies, a treat regularly handed out by her guide. At the end of her stay, she came home with more than mere souvenirs. She came back with a recipe.
She explains that “Alfajores de Maizena are a type of tea cookie or [tea biscuit] filled with dulce de leche (a rich, thick milk caramel), much loved in Latin America. They look quite unassuming, but everything about the way they taste is remarkable: The cookie is melt-in-your-mouth tender because it’s made with such a high proportion of cornstarch, and the generous layer of dulce de leche in the middle gives it substance and chew.”
The dough, she says, is easy to make and very easy to roll. “Really, the only trick is to use a thick dulce de leche to fill the cookies.”
Note: These are even more melt-in-your-mouth after a day or two (well-wrapped)!
Ingredients for Alfajores Tea Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below. Here is what you will need:
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Egg yolks
- Dulce de leche or manjar
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Alfajores Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Alfajores Cookies with Dulce de Leche are a delectable treat made by sandwiching dulce de leche filling between two shortbread cookies.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ cup plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 16 ounces dulce de leche or manjar
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the yolks, and mix well to blend.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients, and gently mix to blend. Do not overwork the dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out one of the pieces of dough to ¼ centimeter thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles (I like them 4 centimeters in diameter), and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- When you have filled a baking sheet, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill. Continue rolling and cutting out the dough, and chill the baking sheets as you fill them.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pan after six minutes, until the cookies feel firm to the touch but have not taken on any color.
- Let the cookies cool completely, then put the dulce de leche in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Finely crush four of the cookies, and put the crumbs in a small bowl. Turn half of the remaining cookies upside-down and pipe on a generous “kiss” of dulce de leche. Top with another cookie, and very gently squeeze until the filling is even. Very gently press the sides of each filled cookie into the crumbs.