CLASSIC ARGENTINIAN ALFAJORES
In this recipe we are using Dulce de Leche as a filling for Alfajores, the sandwich cookies popular throughout Latin American and the Spanish speaking world. The Cognac is optional. This is a great Valentine’s Day project to undertake with the younger people. Using a 2” heart shaped cutter would not be classical, but it would be timely and fun.
2 ¼ (252 gr) cups cornstarch
1 ½ cups (180 gr) unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (4 gr) baking powder
½ teaspoon (3 gr) baking soda
8 oz. (226 gr) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (85 gr) confectioner’s sugar
3 egg yolks (42 gr)
½ teaspoon (2 gr) real vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (14 gr) cognac
Zest of 1 lemon
16 oz. (450 gr) San Ignacio Dulce de Leche
½ cup (57 gr) unsweetened shredded coconut
MAKE the DOUGH.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda into a mixing bowl.
Cream together the butter and confectioner’s sugar until pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time along with the lemon zest, vanilla extract and cognac. Stir in the dry ingredients in three additions. You may not be able to fully incorporate the third addition. Lightly flour your work surface. Turn out the dough.
Incorporate the dry ingredients by pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your hands and then folding it in on itself. When the dough comes together shape it into a brick, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide into thirds. Roll the dough ¼” thick, between sheets of plastic wrap. Cut out the cookies with a 2” round cutter. Lift them onto the baking sheets with a palette knife or icing spatula.
Bake for 8- 10 minutes then cool on a rack. Flip the cookies so the flat side faces up. Pipe or spoon the dulce de leche on to ½ the cookies. Top them with the other ½, flat side towards the filling. Gently press them together, then roll the edge in the coconut.