The Alfajor: An Irresistable Treat from South America

Alfajor

What is an Alfajor?

The Alfajor is a delicious cookie sandwich popular all over South America, from Argentina to Peru. The filling is usually dulce de leche – an irresistable milk caramel, but can be anything from peanut paste to chocolate. Sometimes the alfajor is coated in chocolate or merengue, or sometimes just plain.

Argentina is the world’s largest consumer of the alfajor – more alfajores are eaten per man, woman and child compared to any other country! It is the most common snack for adults and children alike.

Dulce de Leche Alfajores Biscuits

Why is the Alfajor so-called?

The alfajor originated in Andalucia, Spain. From there it was introduced to both North Africa, and South America. The word “Alfajor” derives from the arabic word الفاخر, translating as “luxury” or “exquisite”.

Dulce de Leche Alfajore Biscuits

Alfajor Recipe

MAKES 8

  • 150g (5oz) granulated sugar
  • 250g (9oz) salted butter, softened
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 vanilla pod, split open and seeds scraped out
  • 250g (9oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 90g (31⁄4 oz) cornflour
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 250g (9oz) dulce de leche
  • icing sugar, for dusting

making the alfajor

For best results, use catering strength Dulce de Leche – this has the same taste but is much stronger in consistency so the alfajor holds its shape better.

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

2) Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla seeds.

3) Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder over the butter mixture and mix together until a dough forms.

4) Using lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place them on the prepared sheets, spacing them well apart, then press down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Chill for 10 minutes or until firm to touch.

5) Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the biscuits are pale golden. Using a spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

6) When cold, sandwich the flat sides of the biscuits together with a tablespoon of dulce de leche, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Want to try this recipe or buy Alfajores ready-made? Here are our recommendations...