August 2017
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Alfajores Adventure Part 1

My born-and-raised Mexican coworker always brings back delicious cookies from a bakery in her home city and I fell in love with them at first taste. For over a year neither of us knew what they were called until I finally did some google searching in my quest to find a recipe. Well I finally found out that they are called alfajores, a traditionally arabic sweet that became popular in Spain and spread through their colonies in South America. The style that I tried was Peruvian and is one of the most popular versions. Here is a picture of the one my coworker gave me.

The cookie I tried from Mexico had a flaky texture without much taste that was heavily brushed with powdered sugar. The filling was made with goat milk and sugar and tasted like a rich milky caramel spread. The combination is delicious! I tried replicating this with the recipe below, which was good but wasn’t what I was looking for. This version is great for anyone who wants a less sweet filling with a more buttery sugar cookie. This recipe was taken from A Taste of Peru but I made some adjustments.

Dulce de Leche (filling)
- 4 cups milk (I used 1% cow milk but it’s traditionally made with whole goat milk)
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I put 1 tbsp of artificial vanilla extract)
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda

Sugar Cookie
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup powdered/confectioner’s sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (I used lime because I didn’t have a lemon)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I put 1 tbsp of artificial vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Dulce de Leche mixture

Instructions:
1. In a saucepan/pot add all the ingredients. Turn heat to a medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Once at a boil reduce heat to low-medium setting and allow it to simmer. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.
3. As sauce begins to thicken stir more frequently. Cook until caramel coloured and texture is thick.
4. Remove from heat and let cool. Sauce will thicken when it cools.
5. Cover and refrigerate.

6. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
7. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
8. Add the zest and vanilla extract and mix well.
9. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and make a soft dough but slightly crumbly dough.
10. Firm into a flat box shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
12. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until 4-5 mm thick. Cut circles with cookie cutter or shot glass.
13. Place on cookie sheet two cm apart and bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will not turn brown so do not wait for this.
14. Transfer to a wire rack/plate. Let them cool completely.
15. Place drop of Dulce du Leche in the centre of one cookie and sandwich with second cookie.
16. Cover with powdered sugar on both sides. Amount of sugar is dependent on how much you like.

Makes roughly 30 cookies.

The following pictures are of my baking adventures with this recipe.

2 comments to Alfajores Adventure Part 1

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