If a dessert has dulce de leche you can bet I’m probably going to love it. The first time I ever tasted alfajores, a friend of mine sent them to me for Christmas. She told me to expect something yummy, so when the package arrived I couldn’t wait to open up the cute little tin to see her homemade baked goods.
There they were, all snuggled up in tissue paper — delicate little cookies dusted in powdered sugar. I took one bite and was in heaven. The cookies were buttery and tender with a rich and creamy caramel center. I read the card and it said they were alfajores.
I immediately jumped on Google to see where the heck these little cookies originated. Alfajores are very popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Brazil.
How had I never heard of them before? I will never know, but ever since then I’ve been in love with them. They are basically shortbread cookies that sandwich dulce de leche. They look very fancy but actually are very simple to make.
These cookies are beautiful for a spring brunch, a baby shower, or a wedding. They are so elegant looking and extremely delicious.
My dough recipe has a citrus hint from orange zest and orange extract. The hint of citrus gives these classic shortbread cookies an extra zing.
I’ve partnered with Crisco as part of the Scratch Academy baking school and made a video to show you just how simple these Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Shortbread Cookies) can be made.
I use Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray to prevent these fragile little cookies from sticking to the baking sheet. This cooking spray prevents your favorite foods from sticking and it’s made with 100% canola oil and it is alcohol free. You can rest assured that the flavor of your dishes will always come through with this cooking spray.
Be sure to visit Crisco’s Heritage Kitchen for baking tips or to find inspiration for your next baking adventure.
A special thanks to Crisco for sponsoring this blog post and video. As a participant of the Crisco Ambassador Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and product samples for review purposes. Opinions are my own.
Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Shortbread Cookies)
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- Dulce de leche
- Powdered sugar, optional
- In a large bowl combine the all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk well and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and egg whites one at a time, then add the orange zest, orange extract, and vanilla extract. Then slowly add the dry ingredients until you have a nice soft dough.
- Separate the dough in half, form into two large disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the refrigerated dough on a floured surface, flour a rolling pin and roll out to about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough with a 2 inch round or fluted cookie cutter. Place cookies on a cookie sheet greased with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the underside have a light golden brown color. Let them rest for 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of dulce de leche on flat sides of cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat-side down, to form sandwich cookies. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.