Remember the Homemade Dulce de Leche recipe I posted recently? Well, I kinda needed something to bake with it, otherwise I would have gone to town eating it by the spoonful. Not productive for anyone. So, I baked up some shortbread cookies called Alfajores. And, lemme tell ya, I am in love! The delicately soft shortbread cookies sandwiched with the sweet, rich, and creamy filling of the milk caramel make for one helluva cookie.
What are Alfajores?
Alfajores are deliciously unique in that they’re delicate shortbread cookies sandwiched with a thick layer of luxurious dulce de leche filling. They are originally from South America. And those of us in North America should definitely be making these more often! These are especially delicious and special when homemade dulce de leche is used. Trust me, it’s totally worthwhile spending the time to make the filling yourself!
What makes these cookies unique?
The cookies are made using lots of cornstarch. So much so that I had to do a double-take when the recipes I was reading called for almost equal parts flour and cornstarch – a full 1 cup of cornstarch! I’ve never before used that much cornstarch in a cookie recipe. Lo and behold, it works beautifully! The cornstarch gives the dough a smooth texture that makes it really easy to roll out. And the contrast of the tender baked cookie with the creamy dulce de leche is like nothing I’ve tasted before. Some alfajores are rolled in coconut or dipped in chocolate. I let them stand on their own by doing neither, however, you should know that’s an option and one probably worth trying!
Tips for Making this Recipe
- The dough for the shortbread cookies is extremely soft. This makes it easy to roll out even when chilled. However, the dough also cracks easily while rolling. This is totally okay and easy to fix. Simply smoosh the cracks together (I know, very technical lol!) and smooth over with the rolling pin by pressing down with very gentle pressure
- For the filling, the dulce de leche should be room temperature so it’s spreadable. If your filling is loose, you may want to refrigerate it for a few minutes prior to spreading it. Otherwise it’ll seep out of the cookie sandwich and create a bit of a mess. The goal is to have spreadable filling that stays in place to create a thick layer of dulce de leche in the middle of two of the shortbread cookies
- I highly recommend applying a very gentle touch when spreading the dulce de leche on the cookies. I sacrificed a few cookies during this process – learn from my mistakes!
- These alfajores are best when they are sandwiched and served right away. If you are making them ahead of when you’ll be serving them, I recommend you bake the cookies and keep them stored in an airtight container. Keep them separate from the dulce de leche until you’re ready to assemble and serve the cookie sandwiches
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