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Alfajores. Have you heard of them? If not, then you’re in for a treat. This sandwich cookie takes two buttery crisp shortbread cookies and sandwiches them together with a gooey caramel filling called Dulce de Leche. You can sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar, dip the sides of the cookies in dried coconut, or even enrobe the whole cookie in chocolate.
I have read that Alfajores (al-fah-HOR-ays) are very popular in Latin America. Which makes sense as they are filled with another Latin American favorite, Dulce de Leche (DOOL-say day LAY-chay). Dulce de Leche means “sweet of milk” or “milk candy” and it is also known as cajeta, arequipe, manjar or manjur, and doce de leite. You could use either homemade or store bought Dulce de Leche. Now, some recipes make homemade Dulce de Leche by simply cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk until thick and golden colored. Another way (recipe given here) is to boil down cow’s or goat’s milk, mixed with sugar, corn syrup (glucose), baking soda and salt, until thick and golden colored.
Shortbread Cookies use only a few key ingredients, butter, sugar, flour and salt. While I have used unsalted butter, you can use salted butter, and just omit the salt called for in the recipe. Bake the shortbread cookies until the edges start to brown as we want the cookies quite crisp. Keep in mind that the day the shortbread cookies are filled with the Dulce de Leche they are nice and crisp and you will taste its buttery flavor against the sweet complex caramel flavored filling. But after storing the Alfajores for a day or two the shortbread’s texture softens and the flavors mingle. Delicious both ways.
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Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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