Alfajores – noun. Argentinian dulce de leche filled sandwich cookie; or simplest and most delicious cookies there ever was.
Pretty sure that’s what the dictionary would say, though I have never actually looked it up. This cookie has been going on my Christmas cookie platter for years! And every year my friends and family check to make sure I am still planning on including them. Never gone a year without them, thanks Martha Stewart 🙂
The cookie is the simplest and butteriest shortbread round, that you whip together in a food processor. They are filled with dulce de leche, that YOU CAN FIND IN ANY STORE! I mean, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. You could make your own dulce de leche, but, for real, we are like three days out from Christmas, so let’s be real…you’re buying the dulce de leche. No one’s got time now for homemaking that sh-t.
Tenth day of holiday baking…almost there!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Three sticks of chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces (use the best butter you can find - this is a cookie that is literally all about the butter, so splurge and get the European butter, it makes a difference and you won't be sorry)
- 1/2 cup water
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- one can of dulce de leche you can find this in the Mexican food section of the grocery store or the baking section near the sweetened condensed milk
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
In a food processor, pulse together flour and confectioners sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds. With machine running, pour in the water in a slow steam and process just until the dough comes together, about 20 seconds. Form the dough into 2 flattened disks and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour your counter or work service and roll out one of the disks of dough to a about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from dough and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Do the exact same thing with the other disk of dough. Gather up the scraps from both batches, and reroll and cut. Sprinkle half the rounds with sanding sugar - these will be the top of the cookie sandwich. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Right before serving, spread 1 or 2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on bottom of unsugared cookies. Place sugared cookies on top to make sandwiches. Unfilled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Remaining dulce de leche can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator as well.