Argentinian Alfajores are tender, buttery, sandwich cookies that have luscious dulce de leche caramel inside and a rim of chopped coconut and toasted pine nuts along the sandwich line. They are very popular not only in Argentina but throughout South America and are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
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This recipe was given to me by the chef at a gorgeous hotel in Buenos Aires. After much begging and eating my weight in his decadent treats, he took pity on me and verbally gave me a list of the ingredients. I’ve made some modifications, so it isn’t a traditional Alfajores, but yummy none-the-less.
As most of my readers know, I love cookies – making them, gifting them, and eating them. These little sandwich cookies may be one of my favorites. They’re the perfect small size. The cookies themselves are so tender and not too sweet. Then we have the dulce de leche. Enough said. Plus the little bit of unsweetened coconut and toasted pine nuts cuts through the sweetness of the filling in the most delectable way and adds just a little crunch. My mouth is watering just writing about them.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Butter. Get good quality butter. Not margarine.
- Granulated sugar
- Egg yolks and one whole egg. It’s the extra egg yolks that add the richness to the cookie dough.
- Spiced rum. This is optional, but I love the flavor.
- All-purpose flour – sifted. Yep, you gotta sift for this recipe.
- Cornstarch – sifted. Its a lot of cornstarch and no, it isn’t a typo. The cornstarch gives the cookie the super tender texture that is incredible.
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract and lemon zest for flavor. I love the flavor of spiced rum, lemon, and vanilla together.
- Dulce de leche – I use a store-bought one that is great. You can find it next to the sweetened condensed milk in the grocery aisle.
- Unsweetened coconut and toasted pine nuts – I chop mine pretty finely in the food processor. The coconut cuts through the sweetness of the dulce de leche and the pine nuts add a savory, buttery crunch.
TIPS ON MAKING THESE COOKIES
- Be sure to cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest very well. This ensures that the sugar and flavorings are well dispersed in the fat. Creaming the mixture also incorporates air, ensuring volume in the batter and a lighter final product.
- It’s equally important to sift together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Sifting the dry ingredients together will enable you to actually mix the dough less, making the cookie more tender.
- If you aren’t a fan of coconut, roll the edges in finely chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, or plain powdered sugar.
- Using powdered sugar to roll out the dough ensures that it remains tender. It works just as well as flour but doesn’t toughen the dough.
In the mood for baking? Here are a few more cookie recipes to try:
- Decadent Chocolate Bourbon Balls
- Brazilian Coconut Kisses
- Key Lime Chippers
- Chewy Almond Macaroons
- Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
- Poppyseed hamentaschen
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Ultimate Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Total Time: 55 minutes + chilling time
- Yield: 4 dozen 1x
Argentinian Alfajores are tender, buttery, sandwich cookies that have luscious dulce de leche caramel inside and a rim of chopped coconut and toasted pine nuts along the sandwich line. They’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee.
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of ¼ large lemon
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 large whole egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon spiced rum
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Dulce de leche
Chopped unsweetened shredded coconut and toasted pine nuts, for garnish
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until very creamy, about 4 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and cream the mixture for another minute.
Add the egg yolks and the whole egg. Continue to mix on medium speed until well incorporated.
Pour in the rum, vanilla, and the lemon zest. Mix well.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cornstarch.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed just until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. The dough should be soft and silky, but not sticky.
Form the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rest or 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Set aside.
Turn out the dough onto a surface that is lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Use a rolling pin, dusted with powder sugar to roll the dough to about ¼-inch thick.
With a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Gather up the scraps and reroll and cut out additional circles and place them on the baking sheets.
Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies feel firm, but do not have any color on them.
Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.
In a medium bowl, stir the dulce de leche to loosen it up.
On a shallow, small dish, pour the finely chopped coconut.
Spread about 2-teaspoons of dulce de leche onto one round, flat side up.
Top with the flat side of another cookie.
Use the offset spatula to smooth the dulce de leche around the sides of the cookie.
Roll the cookie sides in the chopped coconut and pine nuts and place the cookie onto a tray or baking sheet.
If you want crunchy cookies, serve them immediately or for a more traditional, softer cookie, allow them to sit for a few hours to allow some of the moisture from the dulce de leche to seep into the cookies.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (but they won’t last that long.)
- Prep Time: 40 minutes + chilling time
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: South American
Keywords: Argentinian Alfajores, South American cookies, dulce de leche, shortbread cookies, sandwich cookies, holiday cookies, holiday cookie recipes
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