south american cookies

south american alfajores on De la casa

These brandy filled, almond flaked treats are really something else. Apparently a common pastry in South America, these Alfajores are available at the gorgeous Spanish stall at the local Tamahere markets. On our visit last weekend, my friend was totally sold on the delicate bite and vowed to give them a go at home.

And so we did.

kneading out the cornmeal dough

She did the hard work – the mixing, kneading and rolling – while I, with my one good hand, spread each half with caramel and rolled the sandwiched cookie in almonds.

These were just perfect for  dessert dinner with a cup of steaming, brandy infused espresso. Nothing like a dash of liqueur to dull the collarbone pain.

Makes 20

170g butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cognac or Brandy
2 1/2 cups cornflour (aka cornstach, as you would use for thickening sauces)
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1/2 lemon

Dulce de leche *
Almond flakes
Dark Chocolate

To make the dough:
Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the remaining ingredients, except the dulce de leche and almond flakes, until well blended. Knead on a floured work surface, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and not sticking. Let rest for 15 minutes.

To make the cookies:
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut into 2-inch rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 150°C oven for 20 minutes. When cool, spread some dulce de leche on the bottom of half the cookies and press another cookie on top, allowing some of the dulce de leche to squeeze from the sides. Roll the sides in the almond flakes until the sides are covered. Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top.

*Dulce de leche is a South American form of caramel. Alternatively make your own by boiling sugar, butter and cream, or use a can of store bought caramel.

alfajores naked and drizzled

4 thoughts

  1. Wow, this looks amazing too, I can’t believe we made these. I guess I’m not accustomed to seeing my baking so beautifully photographed. I had a fun time with you in the kitchen, we should do it again sometime 🙂

    • Oh, well thank you! I was pleased with the photos, considering how dark it had gotten by the time we finished! Yeah, they were darn amazing. I want to try Claire’s macadamia white chocolate cake sometime! In fact, I’d quite like to get Claire round for afternoon tea with us!

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