Saturday, January 12, 2008


The Alfajor, also known as a Caramel Sandwich Cookie, is a traditional South American cookie that's usually served during Christmas. Two round biscuits are spread with dulce de leche and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The premise changes a bit depending on the country, and some varieties are rolled in coconut, chopped peanuts, or dipped in chocolate.

Dulce de leche, mmmmm, that divine Latin American caramel, isn’t hard to make; it just takes a bit of attention. Most recipes begin with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Rest assured, this is entirely authentic. There are five ways to make it: in the can, in a pressure cooker, in a saucepan, in the oven, or in a microwave. I chose 'in the can' method.

Nook & Pantry food blog inspired me to make this recipe during the christmas holiday and boy was I not disappointed! I will admit that I had to finish up the thickening process in the microwave for about 5 minutes at the end, but BOY O BOY O BOY---the results were spectacular!!! Awesome!!


1 1/4 C AP flour
1/2 C corn starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
1 stick of butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Dulce de leche*
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350*F degrees.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl whisk together the flour (starting with 1 cup), cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough comes together. Add some of the remaining 1/4 C of flour if the dough is too wet.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 in thickness and cut into whatever shape you desire. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.

Cool on a rack and fill with a heaping teaspoon or more of dulce de leche.

Dust the tops with some powdered sugar (add a tiny bit of cinnamon if preferred).

*HOMEMADE Dulce de leche
The classic in-the-can method is simple: Place an unopened can (or do a few at once) of sweetened condensed milk in a pot, well covered with water, and bring the water to a boil. Keep at a low boil for two to three hours, making sure the water level always stays above the top of the can (if the can isn’t submerged, it may explode). The longer it cooks, the thicker the dulce de leche will be; after two hours, you’ll be able to drizzle it, and after three hours, it will be thick enough to sandwich cookies. Make sure the can is thoroughly cool before you open it.
In the microwave: Pour the condensed milk in a bowl that can hold at least twice the volume of the milk. Microwave in five-minute intervals, stirring each time, and watch carefully, as it will foam up as it cooks. Cook to desired consistency.

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