Indulge your taste buds in the divine world of alfajores cookies – a delightful treat that combines the perfect softness of a shortbread-like cookie with a heavenly dulce de leche filling. In this detailed recipe, we’ll guide you through the art of creating these irresistible Alfajores Cookies that originated in South America, specifically Argentina. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will leave your kitchen smelling like a bakery and your taste buds craving for more!
History of Alfajores Cookies
The origin of Alfajores cookies traces back to the Middle East, and their rich history unfolds as these delectable treats made their way to South America, particularly Argentina. Traditionally, these cookies are filled with a caramel-like delight known as dulce de leche. While variations exist, dulce de leche remains the most common and beloved flavor. The meticulous process of making Alfajores involves a thoughtful combination of ingredients and patience to achieve the perfect taste and texture.
Ingredients You Need
To embark on this culinary adventure, gather the following high-quality ingredients:
- Flour: 1 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- Cornstarch: 1 Cup
- Baking Powder: 1 Teaspoon
- Salt: ¼ Teaspoon
- Powdered Sugar: 2/3 Cup
- Unsalted Butter (softened): ¾ Cup
- Lemon Zest: 1 Teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract (or vanilla paste): 1 ½ Teaspoon
- Eggs: 1 large Egg plus 1 Egg Yolk
- Dulce de Leche: 1 Cup (store-bought for convenience)
1. Mix Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and powdered sugar. This meticulous blending ensures the foundation for the soft and crumbly texture that defines Alfajores.
2. Beat Butter and Mix with Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, add the softened unsalted butter. Beat it until light and fluffy, either with a paddle or a hand mixer. Incorporate lemon zest, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until just combined, creating a creamy base for the cookies.
3. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Ensure thorough blending by scraping down the bowl, guaranteeing a uniform and delightful cookie dough.
4. Make Dough Ball and Chill
Form a large ball with the dough and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer it to the fridge and let it chill for 30-40 minutes. This crucial step contributes to the overall taste and texture.
5. Preheat Oven and Cut Out Cookies from Dough
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let the chilled dough sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, then roll it to a ¼ inch thickness. Use a round or scalloped-edged cookie cutter to cut out cookies, ensuring a visually appealing final product.
6. Chill Again and Bake
Bring together the scraps, reroll the dough, and cut out as many cookies as possible. Chill the cookies in the fridge for about 10 minutes before baking. Bake the cookies for approximately 8 minutes until the edges start to turn golden. This careful baking process ensures the perfect balance of softness and a hint of crispiness.
7. Pipe in Dulce de Leche, Chill, and Serve
Spoon the dulce de leche into a piping bag and pipe about 1-2 teaspoons in the middle of one cookie. Sandwich a second cookie onto the first to create the iconic Alfajores shape. Refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify.
While these Alfajores cookies are already divine, consider exploring these creative variations:
- Change up the Shape: Experiment with different cookie shapes, making them perfect for various occasions.
- Add a Different Filling: The classic shortbread taste of these cookies allows for versatile fillings like chocolate or fruit, expanding your flavor options.
- Add Coconut Flakes: Enhance the visual appeal and taste by rolling the cookie edges in shredded coconut.
How to Store Leftovers
These Alfajores cookies remain delicious even on the following day. Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a lifespan of up to 6 days. Enjoy them cold or bring them to room temperature for an equally delightful experience.
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