Alfajores Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies: History, Recipe, and Perfect Pairings

Alfajores Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies: History, Recipe, and Perfect Pairings

Alfajores are sandwich cookies with two soft, crumbly biscuits hugging a flavorful filling. Originating in Latin America, notably Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay, these treats mix cornstarch, flour, butter, and sugar, creating a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Depending on the region, alfajores might be coated in powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate, or adorned with coconut shavings. Their versatility and delectable filling make them a cherished confection across different cultures.

The Role of Dulce De Leche

Dulce de leche plays a crucial role in alfajores, providing a rich, caramel-like sweetness. It’s made by slowly heating milk and sugar until it reaches a thick, golden consistency. This creamy filling complements the crumbly, buttery texture of the biscuits, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The slow-cooked process of making dulce de leche enhances its depth of flavor, making each bite of an alfajor a luxurious experience.

Historical Background

Origin of Alfajores

Alfajores trace their roots to the Arabic world, specifically the region of Al-Andalus in Spain. During the Moorish occupation, Arabic culinary influences introduced alajú, a confection made with honey, almonds, and spices. Spanish colonizers later brought these delicacies to Latin America in the 16th century. Over time, the recipe evolved in countries like Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay, adapting to local tastes and ingredients.

Introduction of Dulce De Leche to Alfajores

The integration of dulce de leche into alfajores began in Argentina during the 19th century. This caramel-like confection, made by slowly heating milk and sugar, complemented the soft, crumbly cookies perfectly. The sweet filling soon became a staple, elevating the alfajores’ flavor profile. Today, dulce de leche alfajores are a culinary symbol in Argentina and have influenced variations across Latin America.

Key Ingredients and Preparation

Ingredients List

To make alfajores dulce de leche sandwich cookies, gather the following key ingredients:

  • Butter: 200 grams, unsalted
  • Sugar: 150 grams, granulated
  • Egg Yolks: 3 large
  • Brandy: 1 tablespoon, optional
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Cornstarch: 300 grams
  • All-Purpose Flour: 200 grams
  • Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dulce de Leche: 400 grams, for filling
  • Grated Coconut: 100 grams, for coating edges

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a bowl, beat unsalted butter and granulated sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

Mix Wet Ingredients: Add egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture, and combine until smooth.

Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift cornstarch, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.

Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet mixture, blending until a soft dough forms. If the dough feels too sticky, chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll Out the Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut dough into circles.

Bake: Place dough circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-12 minutes. Look for the edges becoming slightly golden.

Cool and Fill: Let the baked cookies cool on a wire rack. Once cool, spread a layer of dulce de leche on the flat side of half the cookies. Place another cookie on top to form a sandwich.

Coat Edges: Roll the edges of each filled cookie in grated coconut, ensuring an even coat.

Serve or Store: These cookies can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container.

Taste and Texture Analysis

Texture Explained

Alfajores combine a unique texture of delicate softness and slight crumbly edges. The biscuits have a melt-in-your-mouth quality, achieved by the creaming of butter and sugar and careful mixing of ingredients. When baked, the cookies maintain their tenderness, avoiding a hard or overly crisp structure. The edges, often coated in grated coconut, provide a subtle crunch that complements the overall softness.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of alfajores is rich and indulgent. The buttery base of the biscuits offers a mellow backdrop for the star of the show, the dulce de leche. This caramel-like filling adds a deep, sweet, and slightly tangy flavor that enhances the biscuit’s mildness. The coconut coating around the edges adds a nutty, sweet note, creating a balanced and unforgettable taste experience. Each bite delivers a harmonious mix of buttery, sweet, and tangy flavors, making alfajores a beloved treat.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Best Drinks to Pair With

Coffee enhances the dulce de leche’s deep sweetness in alfajores. Opt for an espresso or a latte to complement the rich flavors. Tea, especially black or chai, adds a subtle spice that contrasts nicely with the cookie’s sweetness. For a non-caffeinated option, consider hot chocolate, which mirrors the indulgent quality of the alfajor. If you prefer cold drinks, milk or almond milk pairs well, balancing the sweetness while offering refreshing simplicity. A glass of dessert wine, such as a late-harvest Riesling, provides an elevated pairing experience, enriching the cookie’s flavor profile.

Occasions for Alfajores

Serve alfajores at festive gatherings to delight guests with their unique taste and texture. They’re ideal for holidays like Christmas or Easter, where special treats are customary. Alfajores also shine at tea parties, adding a touch of Latin American flair to the selection. For casual occasions, these cookies make a perfect dessert for picnics or family dinners, offering a sweet conclusion to the meal. Gift alfajores in decorative boxes or cellophane bags to share their artisan quality with friends or colleagues. Their adaptability makes them suitable for any celebration, whether grand or intimate.


Alfajores dulce de leche sandwich cookies bring a touch of Latin American tradition to your table with their unique blend of textures and flavors. Whether you’re enjoying them with a hot cup of coffee or as a sweet treat at a festive gathering, these cookies are sure to impress. Their versatility makes them perfect for any occasion, from casual get-togethers to more formal celebrations. Don’t hesitate to share these delightful treats with friends and colleagues; they’ll surely appreciate the gesture. So go ahead and indulge in the rich, crumbly goodness of alfajores—you won’t be disappointed.

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