May 4, 2013

Alfajores - dulce de leche sandwich cookies

When I was invited to a Cinco de Mayo party at my neighbors house I immediately went looking for a great recipe that would be in the Cinco de Mayo spirit.  I had almost settled for churro's when I stumbled upon this recipe.  Caramel filled cookie? Right up my alley!

The recipe is pretty easy although I don't remember using this much cornstarch in a recipe prior to now.  It came together easily.  Allow yourself an hour to refrigerate the dough.  When the dough comes out of the refrigerator it is a bit difficult to work with.  It crumbles easily but can be put back together and once you've been working with it for a few minutes it does become easier. 

This caramel can be found at your regular grocery store in the Hispanic isle.  I found this can at Wal-Mart so I know you'll be able to find it just about anywhere. Canned caramel, best invention ever!

The cookie remains pale after cooking but the contract between it and the golden caramel makes this very appealing to look at.

The shortbread cookie is very light and flavorful and the caramel just adds the creamy texture and smooth silky taste that will finish off any Mexican or Latin meal perfectly.

The traditional Alfajores are made with honey, almonds and spices such as cinnamon.  These little cookies can be filled with several different items including chocolate, fruit, nuts, jam and so on.  Several countries make their own variations of this cookie and I've read that some people prefer to wait and eat them a couple of days after they are made when the cookie begins to soften a bit.  I've seen some pictures of this cookie that has been dipped in chocolate, I don't see how you could possibly go wrong with that option. Apparently it also come in a different shape, less like a cookie and more like a cylinder.

Any way you make this cookie it's sure to make people happy.  Enjoy!

Alfajores - Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Recipe from Roxana's Home Baking

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can (13.4 ounce) Dulce de Leche caramel
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl add the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together and slowly add to the wet mixture.
  4. Mix until it just comes together. Pour the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disk and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350┬║
  6. On a lightly floured surface, dump out the cold dough and sprinkle a little flour on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch. The dough will break apart and might be hard to roll at first but it is easy to "glue" back together.
  7. Cut shapes and put on two cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper.
  8. Re-roll the scraps as many times as needed to use up all the dough.
  9. Bake on the center rack of your oven for 12-13 minutes. Remove to cooling racks and let cool completely before filling.
  10. When cool, use a spoon to fill each cookie and top with another. You can use a fair amount, you don't want to skimp on the caramel and you'll probably have some left in the can anyway.

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