Alfajores

Alfajores are a soft and tender shortbread cookie with dulce de leche sandwiched between. Though the cookie originated in the Middle East, the Spanish took the cookies to South America where they are most commonly found now, and especially popular in Argentina. The cookies can be dusted in powdered sugar, or our favorite, rolled in coconut flakes. Dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate if you are feeling extra indulgent. Rolling the cookies in chopped almonds or pistachios isn’t traditional, but would be so good and add a nice little crunch. 

The cookies are delicate to work with and if they become too difficult at any point, pop them in the refrigerator for a little bit to chill. If you leave the dough in the fridge for an extended period of time, set the dough out at room temperature for a few minutes before attempting to roll out the dough. Otherwise, it may crack and split too much. The high amount of cornstarch in the recipe gives the cookie its tender and crumbly crumb, but can also make the dough a little sensitive sometimes. 

You can use a nice store-bought dulce de leech or make your own in the instant pot! The sweet, thick caramel-like sauce makes the cookies extra rich, which is why you’ll typically find these sold on the smaller side. We recommend cutting them with a 2 1/4” round cookie cutter. Even smaller ones would also be absolutely adorable! 

Have you made these yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below! 

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Yields: 15
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 0 mins
Ingredients
1 1/4 c.

cornstarch

1 1/4 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

1 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 tsp.

baking soda

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt

12 tbsp.

butter, softened

3/4 c.

granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon  

3

large egg yolks

1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract 

1

(15.8-oz.) jar dulce de leche

1/4 c.

shredded coconut 

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  2. In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest together. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until dough comes together. You should be able to squeeze the dough and it holds together at this point. 
  3. Lightly flour surface and dump dough onto counter. Form into a smooth ball, then divide in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough out to ¼” thick. Use a 2 ¼” round cookie cutter to cut out dough and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough. Gather scraps and shape back into a smooth ball, then re-roll and cut out rounds. 
  4. Place sheet trays in freezer until dough is frozen, at least 15 minutes. 
  5. Bake frozen dough for 8 minutes, cookies will still be a little soft and won’t have gained much color. Let cool completely. 
  6. Flip half of the cooled cookies over and spread with dulce de leche. Top with remaining cookies. Roll the sides in shredded coconut.
Chelsea Lupkin
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