Alfajores are these dulce de leche sandwich cookies originally from Argentina, though they are made in lots of countries in Latin America. If you have tried them already you probably like them a lot. They are my sister´s favorite cookies. These are the classic ones, but we also have the recipes to make the alfajores sablee and chocolate alfajores.
Globalization and people moving from one place to another makes cultures stumble upon each other and the result is wodnerful if you ask me. Languages, idioms, dressing styles, lifestyles and mostly food are mixed. I, personally really like Argentinian food. Their meat and wines are just amazing, and when it comes to desserts alfajores are it.
Now, not all alfajores are the same. We could actually divide them in two, corn starch alfajores and alfajores sablee. The first ones are really soft and crumble easily in your mouth while the sablee ones are crunchier. They are both delicious anyways. This is the base recipe for the corn starch alfajores, and then the sky is the limit. You can make chocolate alfajores, or add nuts to the dough, cover them with coconut, nuts, or anything you want.
In Argentina they sell them everywhere. There are food chains that sell them packed as you would sell bread in any other country where bread is typical. Plus, there are lots of shops where they sell homemade alfajores, those are my favorite, the non industrialized ones. Nowadays people start to sell alfajores in many countries, and lost are actual Argentinians taking their food throughout the world.
It is pleasing to learn where food traditions come from and how recipes originate. Many are accidents, like chocolate chip cookies or sandwiches as many people say. Many others happen because of adaptation or tough times. The bottom line here, is food tells a story, of the place and people that create it.
- 2/3 C (5.3 oz) (150 gr) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 C (1.8 oz) (50 gr) vegetable shortening at room temperature
- 1 1/4 C (5.4 gr) (154 gr) confectioners sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp (0.33 fl oz) (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 C (10.5 gr) (300 gr) all purpouse flour
- 1 1/3 C (7 oz) (200 gr) corn starch
- 2 tsp (0.5 oz) (14 gr) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (0.12 oz) (3.5 gr) baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 can (13 oz) (370 gr) dulce de leche
- Shredded coconut, needed amount (optional)
Preheat the oven at 350° C. Line a rectangular baking sheet with parchement paper.
In a bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter, shortening and confectioners sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Stir in the egg, egg yolks vanilla extract and beat for another 1 minute. Slowly, add in all dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms.
Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Once out of the fridge, place the dough on a clean surface and roll it out using a roller until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out small circles, about 2 inch diameter each.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until they´re fully cooked and light brown.
Once out of the oven, let them cool completely.
Put some dulce de leche on a cookie, place another cookie on top and press slightly, so that the filling is well distributed, and roll the edges of the cookie in some dried coconut. Repeat that to make each alfajor and you´re done!.