Alfajores, alfajores, alfajores. Have you had them? You would know if you did. They would haunt your dreams like La Llorona, wailing at you, ” Devorame…devorame.” These delicious little sandwich cookies are popular all over latin America, but particularly so in Argentina. Two tender, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies filled with rich and gooey dulce de leche, rolled in a little coconut, and just because we can…dusted in powdered sugar too. So good, not too complicated, and almost gone immediately, so make sure to make a bunch.
HOW TO MAKE SHORTBREAD COOKIES:
Makes 20 shortbread cookies
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sift together the flour, salt, and powdered sugar. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour and sugar a third at a time on low speed, then add the vanilla.
Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and press into a disc; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sprinkle your work surface with powdered sugar and roll out the dough until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
INGREDIENTS (DULCE DE LECHE)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (finely flaked)
1 cup powdered sugar
To make the dulce de leche, take the wrapper off of the can of sweetened condensed milk and place it in a sauce pan filled with water. The water should cover the can by one inch. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. If you’re concerned about the can popping or exploding (it’s rare, but has happened), pop a hole in the top of the can and only bring water up to the edge of the can, rather than submerging it. Just keep adding hot water if the water evaporates and gets low. Remove the can from the water and let it cool to room temp.
To put together the alfajores, spread about 2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on a shortbread cookie and sandwich with another one.
Sprinkle the edges of dulce de leche with coconut and sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar on both sides. Enjoy!