After making these alfajores on two different occasions, I declare them a winter baking project.
Both occasions were during extremely hot nights and it was an exercise in frustration. The dough for these biscuits is super soft, and there was heavy resistance to being rolled out or shaped because it wanted to be melty mcmelt all over the bench.
If you don’t know what an alfajor is, they are South American biscuits: dulce de leche / caramel sandwiched in shortbread.
The biscuit part is very short and crumbly, and a total pain to work with. Cooling the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling helped a little bit, but I still had a lot of trouble with them. In hindsight, I should’ve just rolled the dough into balls and flattened them with my hand – it would’ve been much easier than rolling them out.
For the filling, I used a jar of homemade salted caramel that Thanh gave me for Christmas. If you don’t have friends who give you salted caramel (and really? that’s so sad) you can always make your own dulce de leche by boiling cans of condensed milk (and err, you might want to look up instructions first, exploding cans and all that).
Okay, maybe they’re a bit too good to only be baked during winter time. Try them!
- 200g cornflour (plus extra for rolling)
- 150g plain flour
- 60g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
- Large pinch of salt
- 225g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Dulce de leche / salted caramel sauce
- 90g desiccated coconut for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease two baking trays.
- Sift together the cornflour, flour, icing sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir to combine.
- Knead to form a soft dough. The dough will be very soft. If it’s too soft to work with, split it into four pieces and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take out a piece at a time to work with.
- Dust your work surface and rolling pin liberally with corn flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of 1cm. Use a 6cm round pastry cutter to cut out circles. You should be able to make 24 rounds altogether.
- If you’re having trouble rolling it out because it’s too soft, try forming tablespoons of the dough into spheres and patting them into flat circles.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown on the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cold, spread ducle de leche or salted caramel sauce on half of the biscuits and place the remaining biscuits on top.
- Roll the edges in desiccated coconut and lightly dust with icing sugar.
From South American Grill