Delicious Alfajores

The delicious alfajores are very traditional treats in some regions of Spain and in parts of Latin America. It consists of two rounded biscuits joined together with dulce de leche or jam, and covered in black or white chocolate. An alfajor can also be covered with powdered sugar. Also, there is another type of alfajor called “Alfajor de Nieve” (Alfajor of Snow), which is coated with a mixture of egg whites and sugar. The word “alfajor” comes from an Arabic word that means “exquisite”. You can have it for dessert and it also serves as a great delight to accompany your coffee.

You can very easily make them yourself. Whisk 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. Then, in a different bowl, cream together ¾ of unsalted butter (at room temperature) and 11/4 cups of granulated sugar. When the cream is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes), add 2 large eggs and continue mixing. Now add the flour mixture and mix until it’s combined. Add ¾ cup of milk. You may also add orange juice or vanilla (or both) for flavor. With a tablespoon, drop circle-shaped pieces of the dough on baking sheets. The circles should be about two inches apart. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Bake them, and rotate the baking sheets hallway through baking, until they are golden (10 to 14 minutes). Let them cool completely. Finally, join two circles together with dulce de leche or jam. Here’s where you can be creative. A woman identified as CookieChick said while commenting an entry in Martha Stuart’s blog, “I didn’t have dulce de leche (or the ingredients to make it) on hand, so

I filled these with dark chocolate frosting with a tinge of orange zest. The chocolate was a really nice compliment to the flavor of the cookies”. If you wish, you can sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar.

A very popular type of alfajor is Cornstarch Alfajores, which are commonly served in birthday parties and cafés. To make them at home, you have to sift 1/2 cup of flour and ¼ cup of cornstarch with two teaspoons of baking powder. Then, whip 3 tablespoons of butter (at room temperature) with ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar. After that, you must add 2 egg yolks one by one. You may add lemon or orange peel. If you feel that the mixture is too dry, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.

You have to put the mixture on a horizontal surface and form a ball. Then, cover it with a cloth and put it aside for 20 minutes. Then, roll the dough to 3mm in tick, do so on a generously floured surface. Cut circles as big as you wish, since Alfajores came in many different sizes. Place these circles on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake them in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the edges began to color. Once it gets cool, join the circles together with dulce de leche or jam.