peruvian alfajores – dulce de leche sandwich cookies
Dulce de leche sandwich cookies, known as Peruvian Alfajores, pair creamy dulce de leche with flaky biscuit-like cookies while a sprinkle of sweet powdered sugar balances out this unique treat.
If you’re a regular reader then you may have noticed that I took a two month hiatus. I’d apologize, but I have no regrets as to where life has taken me over the past several weeks. What have I been up to you ask? Oh you know, just moving back to Texas. You read that right – we moved back to Texas! I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to be back in the Lone Star State visiting with friends, spending time with family, and eating our weight in BBQ and Tex-Mex.
Most notably known for it’s regional Tex-Mex cuisine, you may be surprised to learn that Texas is also home to fabulous restaurants from many Latin American countries. Weekend road trips to Austin are always packed full of authentic Colombian, Salvadorian, and Cuban dishes to name a few. One of my favorite cuisines happens to be Peruvian, not just for its savory but for its sweet offerings as well. Peruvian Alfajores are one of my all-time favorite cookies and if you keep reading you’re sure to see why.
The Spanish Alfajor is a slightly sweet biscuit-like confection formed into a cylinder and coated in powdered sugar. In South America, Alfajores have been transformed to take on the shape of thin sandwich cookies filled with a variety of sweet spreads like ganache, jam, and dulce de leche. It’s the creamy dulce de leche filling that sets the Peruvian Alfajores apart from the rest of the South American variations and the very reason why they are my favorite. For even rolling and consistent baking I use my Joseph Joseph Adjustable Wood Rolling Pin for all of my rolled cookies. Any circular cookie cutter will do but I love the dulce de leche that peeks out when using a linzer cutter.
A dusting of powdered sugar is a must when making Peruvian Alfajores. I used a mini sifter when creating these cookies, but recently discovered and fell in love with the OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand. The wand is perforated on one half for sprinkling and the other is solid so you can neatly rest it on countertops. Dusting the cookies before assembling your sandwiches keeps the window of dulce de leche in the middle nice and clean. The rich caramel really pops against the delicate cookies for a stunning presentation.
Make any occasion special with a batch of these Peruvian Alfajores. Or better yet, make yourself a batch and sweeten your afternoon coffee break with a traditional Peruvian treat.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dulce de leche, at room temperature
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add in dry mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together and no dry pockets are visible.
- Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a smooth disk, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Unwrap dough and roll between two sheets of freezer paper. Roll to ¼-inch thick and remove the top sheet of freezer paper. Cut 24 two-inch rounds from the dough, re-rolling as needed. If desired, cut a small shape out of the middle of 12 of the rounds for a linzer effect.
- Bake on prepared baking sheets for 12-14 minutes until the edges are golden and centers are set.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
- To assemble, sprinkle cookies with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Turn half of the cookies upside down and spread with a thick layer of dulce de leche. Place remaining cookies on top of the dulce de leche to create a sandwich.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Joseph Joseph 16.5-Inch Adjustable Wood Rolling Pin
Ateco Linzer Tart Cookie Cutter
OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand