Alfajores are soft, delicate cookies that are found in regions of Spain and Latin America. The recipes differ from region to region. This version is filled with dulce de leche and dusted with powdered sugar. My one suggestion would be to not skimp on the filling- as it is sandwiched between two cookies, you need a good bit of the milk caramel to balance the ratio of cookie to filling. The next time I make these I will add even more filling. The alfajores were excellent paired with steaming mugs of coffee!
from: Baked Elements
yield: 24-30 sandwich cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cornstarch
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg
2 tablespoons good-quality light rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 2 ½ cups Dulce de Leche*
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the cornstarch over the flour mixture and whisk again to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the zest, and beat for 15 seconds. Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl again, add the rum and vanilla, and beat for 10 seconds.
Add half of the flour mixture and beat for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just inforporated. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk; wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions. Place half of the dough back in the refrigerator. Roll the dough out on a flour-dusted sheet of parchment paper until it is 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to create your tops and bottoms, and transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets, placing them 1 inch apart.
Refrigerate the cookie-filled sheet pans for 5 minutes before baking. Bake for 8 to 11 minute, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. The cookies will ne done when they just begin to color (they won’t “brown” necessarily). Let the cookies cool on wire racks and repeat the process with the remaining dough. The extra scraps of dough can be refrigerated and rerolled.
When all of the cookies are cool begin filling them. Using a small spoon, apply about 1-2 tablespoons of dulce de leche to the flat side of a cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top. Press slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all of the sandwich cookies are made. If desired, sift some confectioner’s sugar over each cookie, and let them set up for about 15 minutes before serving.
The cookies can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. They taste better the second day!
*for dulce de leche I used La Salamandra– it is absolutely delicious.