These delicate delights will make your knees buckle. That’s just what happens when you sandwich decadent dulce de leche, stone ground chocolate, and crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Adapted from Chowhound’s Alfajores.
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pisco or brandy (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dulce de leche
1 2.7oz Taza Chocolate Disc
1. Sift cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar at medium speed, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks, pisco or brandy, and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well incorporated, about 30 seconds. At low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 parts, mixing until just incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix in any dry pockets using the rubber spatula in a slashing motion. Dough will be crumbly.
3. Lay out two pieces of plastic wrap so they overlap in the middle by ~2 inches. Turn the dough out onto the center of the plastic wrap. Fold the four sides of plastic wrap on top of the dough to create a sealed square roughly 7” wide. Using a rolling pin, compress the dough in the plastic wrap until a square of solid, smooth dough forms. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
4. While dough is chilling, heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, melt with one disc in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until no solid pieces remain. Stir dulce de leche in until fully combined. Try some to make sure it’s good. Try again. Set aside.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it (save the plastic wrap!), and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
7. Using a 2” cookie cutter, stamp out as many rounds as you can, trying to keep it to an even number. Odd numbers will result in treats for you when you have to taste test for the sake of research. Pro-tip: return dough scraps to the plastic wrap, compress into one piece, unwrap, and roll back out to get the most out of your dough. Waste not, want more.
8. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, at least 1/2 inch apart, and bake until the cookies are firm and pale golden on the bottom (these cookies will stay pale on top), about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Flip half of the cookies upside down and gently spread about 2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche mixture on each. Place a second cookie on top and gently press to create a sandwich. Melt the other disc in the microwave until smooth and garnish by drizzling chocolate on top, dipping cookies into the chocolate, or covering cookies entirely.
10. In a chilled, airtight container, alfajores will keep for up to a week and dulce de leche mixture will keep for up to a month.