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Alfajores cookies

Black plate stacked with Alfajores biscuits that have coconut around the outside.

This week at Bec’s Table, we stirred up some excitement with a tantalising challenge on our Facebook page. I presented an image of a tin of dulce de leche and posed the following question to our culinary community:

“What delectable treat am I crafting with this ingredient?”

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The guesses poured in, loads of fun! With over a hundred guesses cast, only a handful — five to be precise — hit the sweet spot by guessing Alfajores cookies.

Now, you might be thinking, “Alfajores? What’s this delightful mystery?” Well, let’s unwrap the secrets of these delicious biscuits (or cookies) that have remained under the radar for so many.

Alfajores: A Sweet Introduction

Alfajores are much more than just cookies; they’re a bite-sized marvel that bridges continents and cultures. Hailing from Latin America, these treats boast a history as rich as their flavour. Two delicate, buttery cookies come together, hugging a layer of smooth, caramel-like dulce de leche, often with a sprinkle of coconut or a dusting of powdered sugar around the rim.

But it’s not just the taste; it’s the texture that makes Alfajores a true standout in the cookie world. Their crumbly, tender bite that melts in your mouth is a result of the cornstarch-based dough, which we’ll explore in the alfajories recipe below.

Alfajores: Latin American mystery

These cookies are more than just a treat. They’re an experience that’ll bring the magic of Latin American confectionery right into your kitchen! Not many people know about them, so when you make them, you can wow your friends and family by calling them Alfajores! 🤣🤣🤣 Just make sure you pronounce it correctly. Here’s how you say it Al-fa-ho-res click to hear it.

Image of a black plate with a small red tin, filled with Alfajores biscuits.

Alfajores cookies

5 from 2 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
These delicate biscuits are brilliant for anyone who has a sweet tooth, and great for bring-a-plate events.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Afternoon Tea, Cookies Biscuits, Morning Tea
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 24
Method Thermomix or food processor

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix or Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 90 g Caster sugar
  • 120 g cornflour
  • 90 g Plain flour
  • 1 scant tsp baking powder scant means just under
  • big pinch salt I like to call it a chef’s pinch
  • 120 g unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 g vanilla 1 1/2 tsp

For the Filling

  • dulce de leche I've written a post on how to make this.
  • a tablespoon or so of desiccated coconut

Instructions
 

  • Chill the Dough: Start by understanding that the dough for these Alfajores is quite tender and needs to be kept cold. If at any point it becomes too soft or sticky, don't hesitate to chill it in the fridge or freezer for a bit to firm up.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Place the lemon zest, caster sugar, cornflour, plain flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of your Thermomix or food processor. Mix until just combined. Thermomix users: Set for 3 seconds/speed 5 with the measuring cup (MC) in place.
  • Incorporate Butter: Add in small cubes of cold butter. Pulse until the mixture takes on a fine, breadcrumb-like texture. Thermomix users: Blitz for 10 seconds /speed 5 with MC.
  • Add Egg Yolks and Vanilla: Now, weigh in the egg yolks and vanilla. Blend until the mix starts to clump together resembling large breadcrumbs. Thermomix users: Combine for 5 seconds/speed 5 with MC.
  • Form the Dough: Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface. Gently press and shape it into a flattened disc. Wrap this in cling film and chill in the fridge until firm.
  • Prepare for Baking: Line two baking trays with parchment paper. This ensures you can move the cookies after they're baked without disturbing their delicate structure.
  • Roll and Cut: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 5mm thickness. Use a 5cm round (or fluted) cutter to cut out the cookies. Remember, they should be thin as they will be sandwiched later. Place the cut cookies back into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 170°C (fan-assisted) and allow it to warm up for at least 15 minutes.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes or until they are just set. Look for a very pale golden edge; this ensures they maintain a soft, crumbly texture. Remove the tray from the oven but don't try to move the cookies off the paper until they have cooled.
  • Cool: after 5 mins out of the oven I slide my baking paper or baking sheet off the tray and allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Fill and Finish: Sandwich two cookies with a spoonful of dulce de leche. For a neater finish, pipe the dulce de leche onto one cookie and gently slide another on top to avoid breaking them. Finally, roll the edges where the caramel is exposed in desiccated coconut.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

If you have a Thermomix and want to start off by turning your sugar into lemon sugar, remove the zest from 1/2 a lemon (no pith) add that to your TM bowl along with the sugar and blitz for 10 seconds/speed 10 then continue on with the recipe.
I don’t like using silicone baking sheets for these cookies unless you can leave them until they’re completely cold.

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