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Recipe for alfajores

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Makes 25 to 30 cookie sandwiches

¾cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½cup confectioners' sugar
1cup flour
1cup cornstarch
Dash of salt
Flour (for dusting)
1can (about 13 ounces) dulce de leche
Confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy.

2. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt into the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar. Return the bowl to the stand and, with the mixer on low speed, combine the ingredients. Increase the speed to moderate and beat until the dough starts to come together in large clumps. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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3. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. On a lightly floured surface, place one ball of dough. Dust with flour and roll out the dough until it is no more than ¼-inch thick. (If the dough cracks, just press the edges together.)

5. Using a 1½- to 1¾-inch round or scalloped cookie cutter, stamp out cookies close together. Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the rounds to the prepared pan and place about ¾ inch apart. Reroll the scraps. With the tines of a fork, gently prick the tops of the cookies twice in the center, being careful not to pierce all the way through; this will keep them from puffing.

6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back halfway through baking, or until cookies are just slightly pale golden. Cool completely on a rack. Repeat with the remaining dough. (You can make the cookies up to a week ahead; store in an airtight container.)

7. On the bottom side of half of the cookies, place 1 to 1½ teaspoons of dulce de leche. (The amount will depend on the size of the cookies.) Top with another cookie, bottom side facing the filling. Gently press down to seal. Just before serving, sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Adapted from Doris’ Peruvian Pastries


Lisa Zwirn can be reached at lisa@lisazwirn.com.