Crumbly, tender cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche – alfajores are the kind of cookies that almost anyone will be tempted by. Welcome to your next cookie plate must-have.
While I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, I have always had a bit of a thing for caramel. There’s something about the smooth, sweet, slightly creamy texture that’s just hard to resist.
I have always loved dulce de leche and after originally thinking about something else I missed, I came across these alfajores that I then felt I had to try. And I am so glad I did, they’re so good.
I remember loving another little dulce de leche treat in Mexico years ago which I soon forgot the name of but always longed to see again. It was basically two pieces of wafer stuck together with dulce de leche and I eventually rediscovered they were called obleas.
However in hunting the name down, I came across alfajores which are kind of the cookie version of the same thing. How could I possibly resist?
Where are alfajores from?
Alfajores are often considered Argentinian, but other countries across South America lay claim to them as well. The dulce de leche used as the filling is certainly something found across Latin America, and the cookie dough is a relatively simple variation on sugar cookies.
To me, I’d say the more people who enjoy such a good thing, the better, as they really are so tasty. Somehow, though, it has still taken me forever to get round to making them.
Interestingly, we saw alfajores pretty often in cafes in Israel this summer, in between the more traditional Israeli cookies. I’m not entirely sure why, but none of us were complaining. It also reminded me I really needed to get round to making these myself.
How to make alfajores
The cookie here is a relatively plain sugar cookie, less sweet than some but they don’t need to be too sweet given the filling. They are a bit like shortbread in that they are typically made partly with flour and partly corn starch to give a meltingly smooth texture.
There are a few variations in what goes in there, some include rum or lemon, but I’ve gone for relatively plain, primarily a blend of this recipe and this one. After creaming together the butter and sugar, blend in the egg yolk then mix in everything else. Bake them until they are just about turning brown then once cool, sandwich together pairs with dulce de leche.
The dulce de leche in mine here is relatively pale as I made it myself (SO good, if you can spend the time) but ready made will work just as well.
Alfajores are a classic for many in South America, particularly Argentina, and I can understand why they are so well loved. In fact my only question is why they are not better known elsewhere. Crumbly cookies joined with gooey, delicious caramel is such a wonderful combination, and one you should try soon.
Tools to make these cookies (affiliate links)
A delicious combination of crumbly sugar cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche.
- 4 oz unsalted butter 115g, 1 stick
- 1/4 cup sugar 40g
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g all purpose flour 1/2 cup plus 2tbsp
- 90g cornstarch cornflour, 1/2cup plus 2tbsp
- 5 tbsp dulce de leche approx
Cream together the sugar and butter in a food processor/stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and blend in. Add the flour and cornstarch, mix and bring together into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap/film and chill for 30 minutes.
Part way through cooling, preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
Once the dough has cooled, roll out the dough relatively thinly (approx 1/4in/2-3mm) and cut small circles and place on a lined cookie sheet/baking sheet/tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake the cookies for approx 1-12 minutes until they are just starting to brown very slightly. They should still be very pale. Leave to cool a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
When the cookies are cool, put a small spoonful of dulce de leche on one cookie and press another on top. Make sure you press them together holding the middle of the cookie so the cookies don't break. If needed, twist them slightly to spread out the dulce de leche. While I didn't here, you can roll the outside in coconut if you like, or lightly dust with confectioner's/icing sugar.
Note the number of cookies is based on the small cookie size - you can use slightly bigger but recommend not much above 3in/7.5cm as larger cookies will break more.
We’re celebrating International cookies today – see the tasty treats from around the world:
- Alfajores (dulce de leche sandwich cookies) from Caroline’s Cooking (you’re here!)
- Boussou La Tmessou (Algerian Shortbread Cookies) from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Chocolate Sable Cookies from Curious Cuisiniere
- Dutch Speculaas Cookies from Palatable Pastime
- Pepparkakor (Swedish ginger cookies) from The Redhead Baker
- Peppermint Shortbread Cookies from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Polvorosas from Five Senses Palate
Today also marks the start of Christmas Cookie Week – there will be tasty treats all week long starting with this great list:
- Alfajores (dulce de leche sandwich cookies) by Caroline’s Cooking (you’re here!)
- Candy Cane Tassies by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Dutch Speculaas Cookies by Palatable Pastime
- Easy Sugar Cookies by Bear & Bug Eats
- Empire Cookies by Red Cottage Chronicles
- Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies by Making Miracles
- Gingerbread Men Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies by Books n Cooks
- Holiday Sugar Sprinkle Butter Cookies by Family Around the Table
- Italian Rainbow Cookies by Everyday Eileen
- Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes
- Makrut Macaroons by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mocha filled Sandwich Cookies by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Pecan Caramel Turtle Bars by Tip Garden
- Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies) by The Redhead Baker
- Peppermint Candy Canes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Peppermint Crinkle Cookies by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Peppermint Macarons by House of Nash Eats
- Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookies by Cooking with Carlee
- Peppermint Shortbreads by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pistachio Wedding Cookies by Soulfully Made
- Raspberry Filled Coconut Snowflakes by Making The Most of Naptime
- Raspberry Thumbprint cookies by Simple And Savory
- Rum Logs by Corn, Beans Pigs and Kids
- Vanilla Bean Pizzelles by Love and Confections
- White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies by Kate’s Recipe Box
Try these other international cookies:
Remember to pin for later!