At their most basic, Argentinean alfajores are nothing more than cookies made from two flat disks of melt-in-your-mouth rich and buttery shortbread, sandwiched together with a dollop of dulce de leche. Sometimes they are also rolled in coconut or dipped in white or dark chocolate. Whichever way they are served, alfajores are the perfect sweet antidote to the rather strong and dark coffee young Argentineans drink all day long in an attempt to keep their eyes open at work despite a social life that does not seem to provide for much shut-eye. —Sophia R
Cream the soft butter together with the powdered sugar until the mixture is fluffy. If your butter is very soft already, this should take no more than a couple of minutes with a handheld mixer.
Whisk together the cornstarch and the all-purpose flour, then combine it with the butter and sugar using a large wooden spoon until the dough starts coming together into a ball.
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the disk of dough on a floured surface, dust it with some extra flour, then carefully roll the dough out to a thickness of no more than 5 millimeters (about 1/8-inch thick).
Using a 5-centimeter (2-inch) round cookie cutter, cut out 24 cookies (you will have to re-roll the dough a couple of times to do this), and place the dough circles on the prepared sheet pan, leaving about 1 centimeter (about 1/2 inch) of space between the cookies.
Place the sheet pan in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes, so that the cookies can firm up.
Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they’re just starting to color around the edges. Lift the cookies onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool.
Once they’re at room temperature, top half of the cookies with dulce de leche, using about 1 teaspoon on each one. Then sandwich those cookies with the plain ones. As you press the cookies together, carefully rotate the two cookies in opposite directions, which will help spread the dulce de leche all the way to the edge of the cookies.
Hi, my name is Sophia and I have a passion (ok, maybe it is veering towards an obsession) for food and all things food-related: I read cookbooks for entertainment and sightseeing for me invariably includes walking up and down foreign supermarket aisles. I love to cook and bake but definitely play around more with sweet ingredients.
Current obsessions include all things fennel (I hope there is no cure), substituting butter in recipes with browned butter, baking with olive oil, toasted rice ice cream, seeing whether there is anything that could be ruined by adding a few flakes of sea salt and, most recently, trying to bridge the gap between German, English and Italian Christmas baking – would it be wrong to make a minced meat filled Crostata?