Alfajores – dulce de leche sandwich cookies

Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling, popular in Spain and throughout Latin America.

Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling. Recipe from Roxanashomebaking.com

Lately I’ve been on a Latin kick. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I sat down one afternoon and browsed the internet for great desserts to celebrate this Mexican holiday. Lots of the recipes came back featuring the rich sweet caramel sauce “dulce de leche”. I usually buy mine from the international market, along with other ingredients from Asia, Middle Eastern and even from Romania.

A couple of months ago, might be a little over a year, while browsing the store for some lady fingers I saw a pack of Alfajores on one of the shelves. It had been so long since I last enjoyed these soft, buttery cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche.

Without thinking twice I grabbed a package and immediately opened and bite into one cookie.

Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling. Recipe from Roxanashomebaking.com

Since then, although I have bought many more, I have been on a quest for the best Alfajores, just like those I remembered from a trip years ago to Mexico.

I’ve tried a couple of different recipes. Different ratio of dry/wet ingredients. Some called for just flour, some for a combo of flour and cornstarch and after many, many cookies and lots of dulce de leche cans I finally found the ones I will make over and over again.

Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling. Recipe from Roxanashomebaking.com

The cornstarch mixed with flour make the cookies soft and light. Alone, the cookies are not too sweet, or not as sweet as a cookie should be, but once sandwiched with dulce de leche a new world opens. I’ve seen alfajores, once sandwiched, being rolled in shredded coconut or finely chopped nuts but I prefer mine plain.

The dough is a little hard to work with at first. When you start rolling it it starts to crack but it’s easy to glue it back together and the scraps work like a charm when re-rolling them.

There’s one thing some might change. The size of the cookie. These are pretty big sandwich cookies. I think my cookie cutter is around 2 1/2 inch but you can certainly make them smaller.

Alfajores – dulce de leche sandwich cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 sandwich cookies

Alfajores – dulce de leche sandwich cookies

Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 X 13.4 can Dulce de Leche (you'll use almost the entire can)
  • flour for dusting

Instructions

  1. Add the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and, with the paddle attachment on, cream the mixture until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until incorporated. With a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. On low speed, gradually add the cornstarch, flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a disk and wrap it tightly. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350F.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness (the dough will crack but can be easily patched back together).
  8. Cut out 20 to 24 rounds using a 2 inch cookie round cutter, rerolling the dough as necessary until all of it is gone.
  9. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake them in preheated oven for 12-13 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Spoon on half of the cookies about a tablespoon of dulce de leche. Place a second cookie on top and gently press to create a sandwich.
  12. Enjoy!

Notes

recipe from Chow

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Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling. Recipe from Roxanashomebaking.com

Cinco de Mayo it’s the first holiday I spend along with other food bloggers. It’s a little early, some may say, but here’s what we’ve made!

  1. Alfajores from Roxana’s Home Baking
  2. Spicy Fish Tacos with Avocado Yogurt Sauce  from Crumb Blog
  3. Classic Flan from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  4. Dulce de Leche Milkshake with Coconut Milk Whipped Cream  from Chocolate Moosey
  5. Lime Margerita Bars from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
  6. Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche from Magnolia Days
  7. Tropical Fiesta Cocktail from Hungry Couple NYC
  8. Paletas – Mexican Popsicles from Pineapple and Coconut
  9. Bizcochitos Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
  10. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Gotta Get Baked
  11. Vegan Taco Salad from What Smells So Good
  12. Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake from Kelly Bakes
  13. Queso Blanco from The Messy Baker
  14. Gorditas with Picadillo from Juanita’s Cocina
  15. Strawberry Margerita Slurpee from Chocolate Chocolate and More

Cinco de Mayo Collage2c

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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....

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Comments

  1. Ms. Pietri says

    Once I tried these I was hooked! The best ones I’ve had are from Bolivia. Thanks for posting this. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes says

    Fantastic Roxana! We eat them here like it´s the end of the world, and they come in all sizes and combinations.

  3. Joan@Chocolate and More says

    Roxana, I want one of these cookies with my coffee! Or maybe two. Or three. They just sound soooo good! So different from all the other cream filled sandwich cookies. I have to say, I’m a little envious of you having an international market close by, I might have to make a special trip to Atlanta again.

  4. Nicole says

    I’ve always wanted to make alfajores and yours turned out just gorgeous. I love Dulce de Leche with anything, and these cookies have always made my heart sing. Your recipe sounds delicious!

  5. says

    Roxana: Ai,ai,ai!!! Alfajores has always been my weakness. Yours looks absolutely gorgeous. The shortbread cookies look so buttery and the dulce de leche is to die for… Green Girl, you are luck that I was not there because you would not have had a single one to put in your mouth. :)

  6. Daniela Cirillo says

    Roxana! thank you for sharing this recipe of Alfajores de Dulce de leche, because I’m from Uruguay and I move to US 21 years ago. In my Country this is traditional in every party ,and a sweet confections !

  7. says

    Smaller cookies? No way! I think they are the perfect size.
    What great cookies to make for Cinco de Mayo too. I love anything with caramel/dulce de leche

  8. says

    Roxana, Roxana, Roxana. Girl, we need to talk about these cookies. Specifically, that dulce de leche filling! I love soft cookies. Like, it’s a problem how much I love them… like I could eat a whole batch of them. And then you go and fill them with dulce de leche?! Man oh man. I am a goner! Adding this to my list of things I NEED to bake immediately!

  9. says

    This recipe is quite simple and easy! I’m going to get the cookie cutter just like the one you have…it’s a lot prettier than basic circle one I have. There are so many recipes that I want to use from your site, one at a time. :) The dinner rolls that I see right next to this comment box is seducing me right now. :) Have a great weekend!

  10. Susan says

    The bigger the better! I just want to dip my spoon into that container of dulche de leche and slather on top of the cookies. Fabulous.

  11. zerrin says

    Roxana, these look divine! Can imagine how cornstarch made these melting in mouth! Your pictures are making me crave for these! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. says

    I’ve never had alfajores before, and I’m half-afraid to try them… mostly because I know I’ll be hooked after the first bite. Honestly, anything with dulce de leche is like my kryptonite. I just can’t resist! :) I totally know which recipe I should try if I ever do give into temptation, though.

  13. says

    I recently discovered dulce de leche from the milkshakes I made. My first time! Or at least that I can recall. I love the idea of using it as a filling for sandwich cookies.

  14. Kim Beaulieu says

    Roxana these are fabulous. I could see me eating an entire batch all my lonesome. Just looking at that yummy middle surrounding by light fluffy cookie. I must try these.

  15. says

    Oooh yeah! These are sooooo good! I tasted my first alfajores in Buenos Aires, Argentina! It was love at first bite! I didn’t think I would like it because dulce de leche has been known to be too sweet. But with the right recipe, it’s irresistible!

  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says

    I’ve had these before and I really liked them. The cookie bit wasn’t too sweet and paired nicely with the all too sweet filling.

  17. Paula says

    Hi! Since I´m argentinian I have the pleasure of enjoying alfajores whenever I want! They´re the most popular of snacks, most specially at schools, and they´re sold pretty much everywhere. Actually, both dulce de leche and alfajores were “invented” here in Argentina, and there are lots of different varieties and combinations! Indeed, we match dulce de leche with EVERYTHING (cakes, cookies, pies, desserts, puddings, etc), it tastes heavenly!!

  18. Paula Brown says

    I actually went to the Alfajores factory in the central monutain region of Argentina. I am a pig when it comes to Alfajores. Now my mouth is watering and I want some Argentine Alfajores. Maybe I will go for Christmas and stock up. In the meantime I’ll make these and see if that will calm my cravings. Thanks for posting them.

  19. sidra says

    Hi, I just made these Alfajores. I went to Peru last year and I used to eat them all the time! I reduced the cornstarch to 3/4 cup so it would be easier to roll. I ended up with 12 sandwich cookies. I appreciate alfajores alot more now because now I know the effort involved! I don’t know if I’ll make them again, because rolling out the dough, cutting it, rerolling the leftovers again, etc was kind of tiringg! However for my first try, I am happy I tried this recipe because they turned out very tasty and my mom is enjoying them with tea right now,:) and they really do taste authentic, like the ones I used to get at wongs in Lima!

  20. says

    I haven’t made alfajores in like… 10 years or something like that. I totally forgot how to make them. I’ll be using your recipe today :D

  21. Emmy says

    Absolutely delicious. The dough is a nightmare to work with, but it’s absolutely worth it. The first time I made them, an actual Latin American person complimented me on them (which felt sooo good) and they’ve since become one of my go-to recipes so I figured I’d leave a comment. Keep on being awesome!

    • says

      Hi Emmy,
      Thank you so much for your comment! It made my evening! So happy to hear you enjoyed these cookies and they are now your go-to recipe.
      Thanks!

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