There’s something about freshly baked cookies and the holiday season that just seem to go hand in hand. Aside from the inviting scents coming from the kitchen, it’s a great time to get together with loved ones and create various festive treats – both traditional and something a bit extraordinary. Alfajores are certainly no ordinary cookie.
Popular in South America, these decadent butter cookies are sandwiched, featuring a filling of dulce de leche. The sides are then rolled in shredded coconut.
This Argentinean-style recipe offers a melt-in-your-mouth cookie texture, making it a divine treat for sharing at any holiday party or as a special hostess gift – if you can part with any of them!
Servings: Approx. 36 cookies
- 1-2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup softened, unsalted butter
- 3/4 white sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla rum or brandy (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 jar dulce de leche (approx. 12oz)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, allowing each to blend into the mixture before adding the next. With the last egg, beat in the vanilla rum or brandy, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
- Gently fold in the flour mixture with a spoon, making a crumbly dough. When the dough becomes cohesive enough, press it together into a ball with your hands. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough, using as little flour as possible, to about 1/4 inch thick. The dough will have an unusual consistency. Cut with a small round cookie cutter. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven until set but not browned, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies immediately to cool on a wire rack.
- Gently spread the underside of a cooled cookie with a teaspoon of dulce de leche, then sandwich together with another cookie until the caramel oozes out the sides.
- Roll the sides in the shredded coconut.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make it Festive
Try adding colour to the shredded coconut. In a glass bowl, place a few drops of your desired food colouring. (If using a few colours, first blend well together with a small whisk.) Add the coconut, and with a fork, lightly combine the mixture.