The cold months of winter, in my eyes, are the ideal time for baking. Nothing says the holiday season like curling up with a cup of fresh coffee, warm cookies and being with family. One of my favorite cookies to make during this time of year is Alfajores. This South American cookie is a basic shortbread cookie sandwiched with a layer of dulce de leche. This baked good is a representation of all things indulgent, from the buttery cookie to the sweet velvety filling.
Alfajores are fabulous for entertaining because they can be stored for up to a week after baked. After baking and assembling the cookies, store in an air tight container. If your family is anything like my family, there won’t be any left after the first day!
Treat yourself with these cookies and happy holidays!
(makes about 30 cookie sandwiches)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
*original recipe: Dulce de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajor) by Ingrid Hoffman
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- In a food processor*, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until dough comes together into a ball
- Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes
- Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using a small cookie cutter cut out the cookies and transfer to a baking sheet. No need to even grease or line your baking sheet!
- Bring the dough scraps together and gently press into a ball. Flour your work surface, re-roll and cut out more rounds*
- Bake the cookies until they are golden and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool completely about 20 minutes
- Place the dulce de leche in a small bowl and stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with the flat side of another cookie
- Place the cookies on a platter, dust them with powdered sugar, and serve!
*If you don’t have a food processor, don’t fear! Use a stand/hand mixer and slowly incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. Do NOT over mix!
*Since this dough is mainly butter, be sure to work quickly when rolling and cutting the cookies out. If the dough gets too soft to cut, stick it back in the fridge to chill for 25 minutes and roll again
Special thanks to my sister, Kalyani, for the photography!