Monday, December 27, 2010


Alfajores are cookies that originated from Spain and then went on to South America.  They are sandwich butter cookies filled with Dulce de leche (or caramel)and then dipped in chocolate.  I did read on the net that several school children used the cookie recipe for a school project on Argentina.

The recipe is time consuming since these are cut out sandwich cookies.  My forming technique is to roll the dough on wax paper, freeze the dough and then cut them out.  This avoids having the dough turning sticky or using too much flour to keep it from sticking. The less handling of the dough after it freezes is better. Frozen dough does not lose its shape when you cut it and it is easy to peel off of waxed paper. This recipe makes about 18-25 sandwich cookies.

adapted from Sunset Magazine 12/2001

1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup butter (room temp)
3 tbs dark rum
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups of  Dulce de leche or caramel sauce
2 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

Clear out space in freezer for at least 2 baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch and baking powder.  Set aside.

Then take a large bowl or mixing bowl and add sugar and butter.  With an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter together until smooth.  This should take about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolks, beating until well combined.  Continue to beat, adding vanilla and rum until dispersed throughout batter.

Using a wooden spoon, mix 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the batter. When the batter no longer has dry spots, continue with the same process until all flour mixture has become part of the batter.

Cut 8 pieces of wax paper that has the same size as the baking sheets.  Divide dough into 3 or 4 sections. Place one piece of wax paper on a smooth surface, then 1 piece of dough, then top with a piece of wax paper.  Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick, making sure size can fit on baking sheet. Place on baking sheet and put in freezer for 30 minutes.  Do the same with another piece.  Put the remaining 2 dough pieces in the fridge.

While dough is chilling/freezing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Take one baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Once rolled out dough is ready, remove one baking sheet from fridge. Peel of top sheet of wax paper and cut dough into 2 or 3 inch circles. Place each circle on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, just so the edges start to brown.  Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

Repeat the rolling, freezing, forming and baking process stated above with the remaining dough pieces and dough scraps.

Once all cookies have cooled, divide the total number of cookies into two even groups.  One group will be face up and the others face down.  On the face up group, spread with one tablespoon of the Dulce de leche/caramel filling, going all the way to the edge.  Then top with the cookies from the face down group, lightly pressing to adhere to the filling.

Lastly, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.  When completely melted, dip half of each cookie into chocolate and place on wax paper to cool.