5 Ingredients or Fewer

Homemade Alfajores

August  7, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by Sophia Real
  • Makes 12 cookies
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 100 grams (about 7 tablespoons) butter, soft
  • 40 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 75 grams cornstarch
  • 75 grams all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons dulce de leche
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Place the sheet pan in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes, so that the cookies can firm up.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elizabeth
  • Christine
  • creamtea
  • Roberto Torres
    Roberto Torres
  • MathildaCooks
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?

26 Reviews

Francheska S. April 25, 2020
I brought the dough Into a ball with my hands since I wasn’t getting there with the wooden spoon. Some of the cookies bubbled up a bit but since I was covering them with icing sugar you could barely tell. They were delicious and I will definitely make these again.
shion December 26, 2017
I made this with homemade coconut milk dulce de leech and its literally sooo addicting! the dough is a little crumbly but using water while rolling it out helped a lot and it was overall a simple, delicious recipe!
Richard October 9, 2017
Made these exactly as written and came out perfectly! Everyone in my office raved about them - only problem is that they want me to make them all the time now! Thanks for the recipe! Just the right amount of flakiness, moistness, delicate flavor!
Nancy December 22, 2016
Sophia R. do you have the U.S. measurements for your recipe? They look and sound amazing and I want to try making them but I need the conversion measurements. Thanks
Maureen M. December 7, 2016
I've been making these for 2 years now exactly as written & I love them - getting ready to make them again!
Elizabeth November 12, 2016
I'm surprised to see so much criticism of the cookie recipe- I used the original recipe, rolled them thinner than instructed, and ended up with 15 sandwich cookies- they were thin, delicate and crumbly (once bitten- nicely firm otherwise) and not too buttery. But I might add lemon zest next time.
Sophia R. November 17, 2016
Thanks Elizabeth! Happy to hear you liked the recipe!
mica04 July 20, 2016
Hey! I'm reposting this recipe with the correct measurements since I made some mistakes the first time when I translated it. Hope it works! They're supposed to be crumbly, but if you find that they fall apart too easily, then just switch the amounts of flour and constarch with each other.
1 2/3 cups(200 g) flour
2 ½ cups (300 g) cornstarch
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
200g butter
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
3 Yolks
(1 tsp Coñac)
1 tsp vainilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
You should mix dry and wet ingredients separately. When you roll it it must be around half a centimeter or so thick and it goes to a moderate over for 15 minutes
Melina July 16, 2016
These are not the ones which you usually cover in chocolate. There are many recipes for alfajores, different types of dough and filings. This kind (which are called cornstarch alfajores) only takes shredded coconut on the edges as a finish. Nothing else.
Oh, and also, try mica04's recipe instead. This one sucks.
Sophia R. November 17, 2016
Hi Melina, sorry to hear you don't like the recipe - is there anything in particular about this recipe you did not like?
Rachel December 25, 2015
I made these for my husbands office staff and they were fighting over them and hoarding them!
Sophia R. November 17, 2016
Brilliant, thanks Rachel! (PS My colleagues react the same way when I bring these in to work).
mica04 December 21, 2015
tried this recipe and I was quite disappointed. The cookies were too buttery, they're supposed to be light and crumbly. The recipe I grew up with (i'm Argentinean) calls for 1 2/3 cups(200 g) flour
2 ½ cups (300 g) cornstarch
½ tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp baking powder
200g butter
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
3 Yolks
(1 tsp Coñac)
1 tsp vainilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
ern December 24, 2015
thanks for this! used this recipe instead...made more than the 12 sandwiched cookies, which i appreciate.

Is 2 tablespoons of baking powder correct? It seemed a bit much to me (from a previous bad experience) and so used 2 teaspoons. The dough was a bit crumbly, but adding extra liquid (water) seemed to sort that out and it rolled out just fine - with an excellent, moreish end result! 3 in quick succession (:
Smaug January 2, 2016
I tried this- your recipe looked more interesting than the one with the article. After a few experiments, I ended up rolling the dough to 5/32"; this is a lot of leavening- they were almost 1/2" thick when cooled, thick for a sandwich cookie, but they are very delicate. Even at that thickness I had to warn the filling to fill them without breaking- I think I'll reverse the flour and cornstarch amounts if I do it again. I cut them to 2 1/4" round, and pierced each cookie three times with a fork (an old shortbread and cracker maker's trick- helps them stay flat) and baked them at 375 for 10 minutes. Together with dulce de leche made from 2 cups milk, this produced 14 large sandwich cookies. Very good sandwich cookies, by the way.
Smaug January 2, 2016
Oops- that number (14 cookies) was from half of this recipe.
Donna H. July 16, 2016
2 1/2 cups of cornstarch? is that correct? I've never seen so much cornstarch in a recipe!
mica04 July 17, 2016
No! it's 2 1/2 TBS but I wrote it wrong and coulnt edit it afterwards

Allison Y. July 19, 2016
Do you mind reposting the recipe to avoid confusion? Thanks!
mica04 July 20, 2016
Yes! I just reposted it with the corrections and some added notes in case it turns out too crumbly. Thanks for the feedback!
Christine December 14, 2015
Can this recipe be converted to US measurements?
creamtea December 10, 2015
I once had these in Israel in a tiny bakery-cafe and have been wishing for a recipe...Thank you!
skenny89 October 4, 2014
making these now, although my argentinean friend demands that I used a little bit of lemon juice and zest in them. Something to keep in mind if you are cooking these for somebody from Argentina. p.s. Roberto I imagine to make chocolate covered ones you just need to heat up some chocolate, temper it if wanted, then pour over the cookies while they sit on a wire rack (be sure to place a cookie sheet under the rack to catch drippings)
Jess August 17, 2014
My Argentinian stepmother taught me to make these. She rolls the edges in shredded coconut to finish. Delish!
Roberto T. August 15, 2014
This looks like a great recipe! I'll try it this weekend. My wife loves the Argentinean (Havana is her brand), and she loves the chocolate covered ones. Is there a recipe for the chocolate cover? I'm kind of new to cooking and want to give this a go.
MathildaCooks August 15, 2014
Totally making these for my Husband's birthday this year! They are his favorite!