Alfajores

Alfajores were an ancient traditional Spanish confection, having originated from the time of the Moorish occupation of Andalusia. It evolved from the alaju, a Middle Eastern sweet. It was exported via colonization to several Latin American countries, and adapted by each country. Most versions usually consist of a shortbread cookie sandwiched together with manjar blanco, or dulce de leche. It is an extremely popular sweet in Peru. This is the Peruvian version.

 

Alfajores / Peruvian Shortbread and Manjar Blanco Cookies
Servings
4 dozen cookies (approx.)
Servings
4 dozen cookies (approx.)
Alfajores / Peruvian Shortbread and Manjar Blanco Cookies
Servings
4 dozen cookies (approx.)
Servings
4 dozen cookies (approx.)
Ingredients
  • 1 pound flour all purpose (4 cups)
  • 2 oz. powdered sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound butter room temperature (2 cups, or 4 sticks)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe manjar blanco (see Recipe page)
Servings: dozen cookies (approx.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F.
  2. Sift together the flour, 10x and salt; then whisk to combine. Place in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the butter; pulse on low speed, just until dough forms.
  4. Add the vanilla; pulse the dough just until combined.
  5. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm (at least 30 minutes to one hour).
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface (about ¼” thickness), then cut into fluted rounds (2 – 2½”).
  7. Place on parchmented baking sheet; chill for 10-15 minutes (until firm, but not frozen).
  8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes (until just pale golden).
  9. Cool to room temperature on baking sheet, then transfer to rack (cookies will crumble if moved while still warm). Cool completely.
  10. Spread or pipe the manjar blanco on one alfajor, and top with another to make a sandwich. Dust with powdered sugar.
Recipe Notes

This recipe yields approximately 2 pounds 2 ounces of dough.

You can mix the butter and vanilla in by hand, if you don't have a mixer. Knead until blended, but be very careful not to over-knead, or the cookies will be tough and will be misshapen when baked.

The baked cookies are delicate. Store flat, with parchment sheets between layers.

The shortbread cookies freeze well; but manjar blanco may become grainy or slimy when frozen. Freeze unfilled cookies, but keep manjar blanco and filled cookies at room temperature.

The filled cookies will keep for several days at room temperature.

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Copyright © 2011 la vida comida.
Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.
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  2 comments for “Alfajores

  1. yazmin
    October 31, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    thank you for posting this and all the other recepis you have on your site. Im Peruvian born and raised there till the age of 9 ( ;( ) lol. my mother and grandmother are great cooks. I suck, lol. I try and duplicate but don’t come even close. they don’t messure anything my grandmother taught me to make arroz con leche it is my favorite i could eat it everyday, but I can not make it I have written it down and made it w/ her so many times but when on my own it turns to mush. so I will be trying your recipies and hoping for the best. love the fact that you have pictures of the steps so i know what mine should look like. again thank you for your post. :)

    • October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy trying out the recipes… I promise they are not difficult. But if you have any questions, please feel free to email or comment again – I’d be happy to help you as much as I can! ¡Buen provecho!

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