Delicate alfajores cookies filled with creamy caramel-like dulce de leche are a perfect treat to enjoy with your cup of coffee or on their own.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe
Dulce de leche: You can buy Dulce de leche at many supermarkets. It’s found in the baking aisle next to the sweetened condensed milk. If you can’t find it then just make a batch; homemade dulce de leche is really easy and so delicious!
Shredded coconut: Use the unsweetened dried coconut shredded into small pieces if possible for this alfajores recipe. If you can only find the big flakes then pulse them in your blender or food processor to break them up.
How to Make Alfajores
1. Whisk the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl then set aside.
2. Add the room temperature butter, lemon zest and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the yolks one at a time then add the vanilla. Scrape the bowl down then mix once more.
4. Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl down one last time then mix for a few more seconds. Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least an hour. You can also divide the dough into two batches if you like, this way you can take your time when cutting the alfajores.
5. Once your dough has chilled preheat oven to 350F and place dough on the counter to soften up a bit, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to thickness of about 1/8 an inch although they can be a bit thicker. Cut into circles and place on a silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes rotating pan halfway through the bake. The alfajores are done when the edges are just turning golden.
6. Add about a teaspoon or two of dulce de leche to the underside of a cookie then sandwich together and press so the filling spreads to the edge. Roll in the shredded coconut and they’re ready to eat!
Pro Tips for this Recipe
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- You can easily make your own dulce de leche for the alfajores by baking sweetened condensed milk, I’ve got a whole blog post on dulce de leche so click over if you need the instructions.
- Don’t over-fill your alfajores with dulce de leche, it’s fairly soft and things can get messy if there’s too much.
- Dark rum is a nice substitute for vanilla extract. The flavor blends well with the lemon and dulce de leche in these alfajores. If you like you can add a teaspoon or two of each to the recipe.
- If your dough starts getting a bit soft while you’re cutting out the alfajores then just return to the fridge or freezer to firm it up a bit. Dividing the dough into two batches also helps.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do they last?
These alfajores will last about three tays in the fridge after assembly. You can store the unfilled cookies for a week at room temperature or freeze them for a month.
What’s the best way to store them?
After rolling on shredded coconut I like to store my alfajores vertically like Oreos. You can use an old cookie container or roll them in some parchment paper.
What kind of coconut is the best for these?
Unsweetened, finely shredded coconut is great for alfajores. The cookies are sweet enough already so you don’t need to use a sweetened coconut and because they are small you’re better off with small pieces. If you can’t find this type just blitz larger pieces of shredded coconut in the food processor or blender.
If you’ve tried this Alfajores recipe then don’t forget to leave a rating and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
- Baking Sheet
- Round cookie cutter
- 1 1/4 cup corn starch 180g
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 120g
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter 170g, room temp
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar 133g
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla 10mL
- dulce de leche
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- Combine the flour, corn starch, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl, whisk together then set aside.
- Add the room temperature butter, lemon zest and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer. Beat on a medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract then mix until combined. Scrape the bowl down and mix once more.
- Dump in the dry mixture and mix on low until just combined. Scrape the bowl down one last time and mix for a few seconds more.
- Transfer the dough onto a piece or plastic wrap and flatten into one or two disks. Wrap well and chill for about an hour.
- Once you dough has chilled set oven to 350F and bring the dough out onto your counter to warm up for a few minutes. Roll out to between 1/4 and 1/8 an inch on a lightly floured surface. Use a circle or scalloped cookie cutter to cut the dough and transfer to parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Re-roll any excess dough and cut or freeze for later.
- Bake for about 8 minutes rotating pan halfway through. Allow to cool on baking sheet before assembling.
- Once cool you can pipe or smear a dollop of dulce de leche onto the back of a cookie and sandwich to the bottom of another cookie. Roll in shredded coconut and repeat assembly for the remaining cookies.
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don't have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- You can easily make your own dulce de leche by baking sweetened condensed milk, I've got a whole blog post on it so click over if you need the instructions.
- Don't over-fill your cookies with dulce de leche, it's fairly soft and things can get messy if there's too much.
- Dark rum is a nice substitute for vanilla extract. The flavor blends well with the lemon and dulce de leche. if you like you can add a teaspoon or two of each to the recipe.
- If your dough starts getting a bit soft while you're cutting out the cookies just return to the fridge or freezer to firm up a bit. Dividing the dough into two batches also helps.