Here is a recipe for traditional Argentinian Alfajores. I'm sure these were Pope Francis's favorite cookies as a boy! My daughter made these cookies (along with her two younger brothers & the other campers) at a Young Chef’s Academy All-Around-the-World baking camp last summer. They are delicious! If you don’t like coconut, you can omit it. This recipe is also available on line at different baking websites, all about the same.
I usually buy the Havanna brand of Alfajores, but if you can't find those, these homemade ones are very good. Alternatively, these can be dipped in chocoloate or white meringue. Feel free to use the recipe, but don't modify the proportions or they won't come out right.
Alfajores (like most words that start with "al") is of Arab origin and is believed to have been introduced into Spanish by the Moors during their seven century long control of Spain/Iberian peninsula. The word then traveled to the Spanish colonies in the Americas during the 16th century onward.
- 1 3/4 cups cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- Dulce de leche
- grated and sweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix briefly.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture, blending with your fingers until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and mix with your hands until the dough is homogeneous and smooth (add a tablespoon or two if too crumbly to form a ball). Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll out dough to 3/8" thickness, and cut into 2 inch circles.
- Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until they are barely golden brown.
- To fill the cookies, spread one cookie with dulce de leche and top with second cookie. Roll the edges in the coconut.
Let cool completely and enjoy!