Alfajores… what an interesting name. Funny enough, I don’t know how to pronounce it, but what I know for sure — this is something addictive!
Envision two powder-soft cookies (it already sounds divine!), and then add a spoonful of dulce de leche in between. Coat the edges with coconut flakes and you end up with the most tender creation on planet Earth. Alfajores-the-cookies melt in the mouth leaving you with pleasant aftertaste and a burning question — why I cooked only one batch?!
As though it weren’t enough to convince you, we’re making dulce de leche at home. And, let me tell you, it’s an experience in itself! You tried condensed milk, right? So you know it’s a sweet milk with thicker than heavy cream but still runny consistency. But what if there’s a trick to turn condensed milk into “caramel”? 😉
For the dulce de leche:
1 can condensed milk
a large pot
Place a can of condensed milk in a large pot and completely cover it with water. Place the pot over medium heat and cook the milk for 2.5 hours to reach thick consistency. Make sure the water covers the can at all times. If the water starts to evaporate, add more HOT water to the pot pouring it between sides of the pot and the can.
Once time passes, turn off the heat and leave the can in the pot until it cools completely.
For the cookies:
115 g flour
85 g cornstarch
55 g powdered sugar + more for dusting
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
115 g salted butter, cold
2 egg yolks
In the bowl of food processor combine flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, baking soda and salt and pulse to combine. Add pieces of cold butter and pulse again to form fine and sandy mixture. Add egg yolks and continue running the processor until the dough forms around the blades.
Transfer the dough to the working surface, form a disc and tightly cover it with a plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Lightly dust a piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar and transfer half of the dough there. Dust powdered sugar on top and start to roll the dough working from the center. Flip the dough upside down and keep rolling until about 5-6 mm (1/4 inches) thick.
Using 2-inches round cutter, cut the dough. Carefully catch the scraps between cookies, brush off excesses of powdered sugar from the parchment and place it in the fridge. (I prefer this method over transferring each individual cookie to the sheet because it helps to maintain the shape better).
Add the scraps of the dough to the remaining piece and keep rolling and cutting it as described above. Then transfer one piece of parchment paper from the fridge to a baking sheet and rearrange the cookies leaving about 1/2 inch between them.
Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown. Transfer the cookies (still on the piece of parchment paper) to the rack and let them cool to room temperature. Similarly, bake the remaining cookies.
When cookies are cool, transfer dulce de leche to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Flip half the cookies bottom side up and pipe a generous dollop of the filling working from the center. Top with matching halves and gently press to seal. Cover the edges of the cookie with coconut flakes and dust the top with powdered sugar.
Enjoy the same day or store cookies in the air tight container in the fridge for up to one week.