Let me give you a little description of what Alfajores are by Wikipedia: "In South America alfajores are found most notably in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Alfajores have been popular in Argentina and Uruguay since the mid-19th century. However, these differ from the Spanish alfajores in that they are made with two round cookies with different sweet fillings between them. The filling is usually Dulce de leche, although there are a lot of variations. They can be covered with powder sugar (the traditional ones), glazed sugar, coco or chocolate. Argentina is today the world largest consumer of alfajores, both in total numbers and in per capital calculations, being the most common snack for schoolchildren and adults. Alfajores are also very popular in Peru, especially the artisanal types. Other nations from South America might import some from Argentina and Uruguay and have limited consumption."
Ok now that you know let me proceed with the recipe :) The recipe that I use is from my mom's kitchen. There are different styles of Alfajores depending on the Country of origin. For us, Peruvians, alfajores are made with corn starch. The basic recipe is 50% flour and 50% corn starch. You can modify this recipe if you feel like it. Depending on what you really like. If you like this cookies soft you will increment the percentage of corn starch. If you like them a like more stiff you can increment the amount of flour. Make sure that whatever you do with the amounts of corn starch and flour, at the end always adds up to 100%.
The ingredients that you will need for these awesome cookies are:
- 1/4 kilo self rising flour
- 1/4 kilo corn starch
- 1/4 kilo lard or shortening
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons of milk
- 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
To fill them you need 1 can of Dulce de Leche and Some extra powdered sugar to cover them.
The first thing you need to do is sift all dry ingredients. It is very important to sift all dry ingredients because by doing this you're aerating the flour. Also the other powdered ingredients get mixed up and evenly distributed within each other. Sifting also catches any pesky clumps. This way you will end up with a light, airy and delicate texture in the finished cookie.
Next step it is to add the lard or shortening (which ever you find in your local store is fine). Start to crumble all the lard/shortening into the flour with a pastry blender, if you don't have one is ok just use your hands squeezing the lard/shortening between your fingers.
Then add the rest of the ingredients into the dry ingredients lard/shortening mixture and start mixing it. Ones they start coming together you can place it on the table for easy knitting.
When you knit the dough, depending on were you live, you will see if the dough comes together or not. If it difficult for you and you see that the dough is it not coming together at all you can add another tablespoon of milk until you see a nice manageable dough.
Now the fun part begins! Roll the dough about 1centimeter thick. With a circle cutter of the size that you prefer, cut the dough and place the circles on a greese baking sheet. Bake them on a 350F pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.
Make sure that you don't over baked them. Sometimes depending on the oven it could take about 10 minutes only, so please make sure to keep checking on them. They should be slightly gold on the edges.
Wait for them to cool down for about 15 minutes and then you can fill them with Dulce de Leche and cover them with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!!