Alfajores {AKA Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies}

12.20.2012

Alfajores are tender sandwich cookie filled with a layer of dulce de leche and commonly rolled in coconut. The are popular cookie found in many Latin American countries and when packaged you can often find them dipped in chocolate. These are one of my families favorites!

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My Go-To Alfajores Recipe

I first discovered these gourmet confections thanks to my Husband. He lived in Argentina for two years and they were one of his favorite treats there so of course I had to learn how to make them.

I can’t understand why these delicious, caramel, coconut and lemon flavored, shortbread like cookies aren’t popular here in the United States. These cookies melt in your mouth!

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How do You Pronounce Alfajores?

Some people refer to them as Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies but shouldn’t we give them their proper name? Besides it’s so much more fun to say, alpha-HORE-ays vs. the other long name given.

I made this recipe to be a little bit more than the traditional Alfajor. I added in some extracts and chose to add various toppings rather than just going with a plain, un-coated Alfajor.  I like to give people options, and how could I leave out sprinkles?

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What Ingredients do I Need for Alfajores?

  • Cornstarch
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon
  • Egg yolks
  • Vanilla
  • Dulce de leche
  • Coconut extract and shredded coconut (optional)

 

How do You Make Alfajores?

  • Whisk dry ingredients.
  • Cream butter, sugar and zest.
  • Mix in egg yolks and extracts.
  • Blend in dry ingredients then mix in a little lemon juice as needed.
  • Chill dough 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Roll dough out and cut into rounds. Bake until set in preheated oven.
  • Let cool then spread with dulce de leche and sandwich with a second cookie.
  • Roll in coconut or other desired coating.

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Alfajores

Alfajores are tender sandwich cookie filled with a layer of dulce de leche and commonly rolled in coconut. The are popular cookie found in many Latin American countries and when packaged you can often find them dipped in chocolate. These are one of my families favorites!

Servings: 24
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp coconut extract , optional (use 1/2 tsp for more coconut flavor)
  • a few tsp lemon juice , as needed
  • 1 can Dulce de Leche (I've used homemade before too)
  • Various toppings for coating*

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Mix in lemon zest. Add in egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until well blended. Mix in vanilla and coconut extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined and dough starts to come together, adding a few tsp lemon juice if needed (dough will be fairly dry, I didn't need to add it but I tried adding a little bit to the second half of the dough to compare cookie texture. Just note it will increase the lemon flavor in the cookie). Shape dough into a ball, cover ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour until dough is easy enough to work with.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll chilled dough out between to large sheets of parchment or wax paper to 1/6-inch thickness (I worked with half the dough at a time). Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (sometimes I use a heart shape instead), cut dough into circles then using a wide knife (such as a Santoku knife), slide knife along the bottom of the cutout cookie (or you can just pick them up, I just always found I get less breakage using a knife) and transfer cookie to a Silpat lined or buttered cookie sheets (fitting 15 per sheet) bake in preheated oven for 10 - 11 minutes. Allow cookies 5 minutes to cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then spread a layer of Dulce de Leche over the bottom side of one cookie, then sandwich to the bottom side of another cookie. Spread a thin layer of Dulce de Leche around the round edge of the cookie, then roll in desired topping. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
  3. *Here are a few of the toppings I like to use:
  4. sweetened coconut flakes (I like to grind it a little bit in the food processor to a smaller size, which is an optional step)
  5. toasted coconut flakes (I used a bag of toasted desiccated coconut I had)
  6. finely chopped pecans, toasted if desired
  7. sprinkles
  8. grated white, milk or semi-sweet chocolate
  9. Alternately you don't need to coat the edges at all, you can simply just fill the centers with Dulce de Leche. If desired you can dip to coat or drizzle cookies in white, milk or semi-sweet chocolate.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Argentine
Keyword: Alfajores
Author: Jaclyn

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37 comments

  • Renata Conger: I made these for a 1950’s Havana themed shower and they were delicious!

    Have you had any luck freezing the finished ones? Maybe leave off the toppings…

    Thanks! April 8, 2016 at 11:13am Reply

  • Michele: I served my mission in Uruguay and we ate alfajores all the time! It’s probably the only food I miss there :/ It’s too bad we can’t get them here. I’ve been searching for days for a cookie recipe for my cookie exchange and this it the one!! Thanks! December 16, 2014 at 12:38pm Reply

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