I have to give a HUGE thanks to Marcy Goldman of BetterBaking.com for sharing her recipe for temptation with us. I love dulce de leche but I’ve never attempted Alfajores until now. They do take a few steps to make. But this is one sandwich cookie recipe that’s worth a little work.
This dulce de leche Alfajores recipe is from Marcy’s cookbook, The New Best of BetterBaking.com by Whitecap Books. When I asked her for her most sexy cookie recipe, this is what she sent. She first learned of Alfajores in tango class and considers these cookies, with their partners of sandwich and filling, to be as sensual as the dance.
What are Alfajores?
But despite their many exotic influences, these cookies are surprisingly basic. They are essentially sandwich cookies made from two fairly plain butter cookies with a thick slathering of dulce de leche in the center.
Unfortunately, unlike many Christmas cookies that have a shelf life of a week or more, these cookies are quite moist and are best eaten right away. I recommend serving within three days of baking. And that really shouldn’t be too hard to do. Once you taste these Alfajores, you’ll have a hard time stopping at one!
A simple cookie with a complicated history
Although Alfajores are popular throughout South America, you rarely see them in North America or most of Europe. (However, I’ve been told that they’re fairly common in parts of Spain and southern France.)
You might be surprised to learn that these cookies are embraced by Latin cultures as their own, the cookie’s origin is actually in the Middle East. You can read the full history on Wikipedia.
How to make these dulce de leche Alfajores
To make Alfajores, you have to make a dulce de leche filling with condensed milk as well as make the basic cookie dough.
To make the cookie dough
This Ajfajores recipe calls for a basic all-purpose flour dough with easy-to-follow instructions. Just two tips:
- Make sure to thoroughly cream the butter and sugar. The process incorporates air into the mixture and helps ensure a light, not dense dough.
- You must chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes. You cannot skip this step, nor can you chill it too long. If it is in the refrigerator for more than 30 minutes, let it warm up until it is easy to work with.
To make the dulce de leche
Dulce de leche might sound intimidating but it is one of the easiest confections you could possibly make. It is basically just a thick, caramel spread made from sweetened condensed milk.
You simply simmer the condensed milk in a double boiler over low heat until the mixture thickens and turns an alluring caramel color. That’s it!
To make the sandwich cookies
For this sandwich cookie recipe, you want to roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. (Yes! That’s thin!)
You will need 2.5 or 3-inch cookie cutters to make the shapes. Marcy prefers using a fluted-edge cookie cutter but you can use a round cookie cutter if you prefer.
Once the cookies are baked, you simply fill them with the cooled dulce de leche and then dust the tops of the dulce de leche sandwich cookies with powdered sugar for a pretty presentation.
Alfajores and Tango – a sexy combination
Comments Marcy, “[these cookies are a] one of a kind gift but save some for yourself! Make your own dulce de leche from the free recipe on my site or find ready-made (if you must).
This is about the best cookie in the world and the ideal holiday gift. Make it once-it will become, as it is mine, your trademark. I learned about Alfajores cookies in tango class. Thirteen years of tango later (which one needs to work off the Alfajores calories), I am still making these amazing cookies. If you make only one cookie (after oatmeal and Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies) this would be it.”
And if you love making cookies, be sure to check out our whole collection of cookie recipes.
Dulce de Leche Alphahores - The Famous Tango Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Dulce De Leche Filling *
- 2 14 ounce cans of condensed milk
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Toasted or plain shredded coconut for sides
- For the cookies, cream the butter with confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, almond extract, vanilla, nuts, and flour. Wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes. If you chill longer, you have to let the dough warm up a bit before it can be rolled.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/4 inch or so. Cut in 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch circles, preferably using a serrated or fluted edge cookie cutter.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool well.
- Spread some caramel filling on a cookie. Top with another cookie and press together carefully.
- Dust tops with confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, you can smear more dulce on the sides of the cookies and roll in toasted or plain shredded coconut.
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Love this recipe? Check out more of Marcy’s recipes in The New Best of BetterBaking.Com.
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