Sunday, August 5, 2012

before the macaron was the alfajor…


alfajores stack

Seems we’ve been under the spell of the macaron in this house for a little while. But this weekend I was reminded of how simple it is to make up a batch or two of alfajores. You just need to have a tin of boiled sweetened condensed milk at hand. Alfajores in this form are typical in Argentina but there the caramel or dulce de leche is readily available by the aisle full at the supermarket!

The original alfajor or alaju from Spain bears little resemblance to this shortbread filled with caramel and rolled in coconut. Alaju apparently comes from the Arabic word for ‘luxury”. Which they are, little luxuries to have with your afternoon macchiato.

Alfajores de Maizena


85 grams butter, at room temperature

½ cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon lemon rind

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ¼cup plain flour

1 ¼ cup cornflour

1 tablespoon baking powder

extra cornflour for rolling pastry

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 ½ cups Dulce de Leche (a tin of sweetened condensed milk, boiled for 3 ½ hours always covered with water)


1.Cream the butter, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla essence with an electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes

2.Beat in the whole egg till combined

3.Mix through ¼ cup of plain flour and then the egg yolk

4.Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir mixture to combine

5.Sift the rest of the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixing bowl

6.Stir with a wooden spoon till a dough forms, be careful not to overmix

7.Scrape dough out and cover with cling wrap, chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge

8.Grease two baking trays and heat oven to 180C

9.Dust the bench and a rolling pin with a little cornflour

10.Roll out the dough till ½ cm thin and press out discs using a 4cm biscuit cutter

11.Gather scraps of dough, roll out again and cut as many discs as possible from the dough

12.Lay biscuits 3cm apart on greased baking trays and place in the preheated oven

13.Cook for 8-10 minutes till the bottoms are cooked but the tops are still a creamy white

14.Allow to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack

To Assemble

15.Top one biscuit with a small teaspoon of cooled dulce de leche and top with another biscuit

16.Squeeze together till a little caramel oozes from the sides, smooth dulce de leche along the outside of the biscuit

17.Place desiccated coconut in a bowl and roll around the edges of the alfajores to cover with coconut

tapas de alfajoresdulce de lechealfajores stack

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