Alfajores de Dulce de Leche

by angelika on May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!
Yesterday the kids and I made these cookies as our Mother’s Day treat. Some people might say, why in the kitchen for/on Mother’s Day? For me, being in the kitchen is a treat, so I would rather not avoid it for custom’s sake. A few hours in the kitchen with no kids? Kind of heavenly, if I am being honest. I do love their help, but there is nothing more relaxing to me than being able to cook in my own little kitchen retreat. 

If you have never heard of Alfajores, you are not alone. I found these only by looking at Martha Stewart’s website in the midst of my Christmas Cookie marathon last holiday season. I meant to make them them, but never got around to it. I have been having a Dulce de Leche renaissance of sorts, so this seemed like the perfect time to try my hand at Alfajores. Having never been to South America, their maybe birthplace, I have never had the opportunity to become smitten. I will tell you here and now, that they are so good they rival my beloved French macaron. (gasp!)  They are, in essence, a butter cookie sandwiched with caramel sauce in between. We made these dangerously bite sized, which really means I ate 10 at a time instead of 2. 

Alfajores de Dulce de Leche
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup water
sanding sugar for decorating 
Ducle de Leche:
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk 
For this run of Dulce de Leche I tried the slow cooker method. I followed the hilarious directions found here.  It is definitely much easier than stove top method. I think the oven method is just as easy, and not as scary. I definitely kept checking the slow cooker sort of waiting for an exploding can. In the end it produced a delicious dulce de leche and there were no exploding cans. Once the dulce de leche is done, put in in a storage container and let it cool in the refrigerator. 

Preheat the oven to 350º. 
This recipe makes a lot of cookies, as in for a party or to give as gifts. Almost 4 dozen. If you are making them for your family you might want to cut the recipe in half. Unless you are looking to gain 10 lbs, then by all means make them all! 
Sift the flour and powdered sugar. Cut the butter and put the cubes back in the refrigerator to chill back up. For 5 minutes or so. 

In the food processor, pulse the butter and flour. Then run the processor and feed the water through the tube until a ball forms. If you have a standard size food processor you need to make the dough in two batches. (which I learned the hard way)  Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for an hour. 

Roll the dough about 1/2 inch thick and cut shapes. Move them to a cookie tray lined with parchment or a silpat liner. Traditionally the cookies are round, but we make hearts for Mother’s day. You can dust haf the cookies with sanding sugar to decorate. This is always Little Man’s job. I really like India Tree sanding sugar, as it using natural plant colors.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden.  Place them on a rack to cool. 

Sandwich the cookies, with one decorated cookie and one plain cookie, with a liberal pat of ducle de leche. Line them up on a plate and then tell yourself you are only eating one or two….each time you come back to the plate.
A votre santé!

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