Ingredients For Cookies
450 grams plain flour
60 grams Corn Flour
250 grams castor sugar
300 grams unsalted butter
45 grams Egg Yolks
25 grams Baking Powder
100 grams desiccated coconut
50 grams icing sugar
Ingredients For Dulce De Leche
395 millilitres Sweetened Condensed milk(1 x can)
Chef Stephen Clark runs the kitchen of San Telmo, one of Melbourne’s best Argentinean restaurants. Chef Stephen shares with Chef’s Pencil the recipe of a traditional South American cookie – alfajor (plural alfajores). Alfajor is a sandwich-type of cookie that is popular in Argentina, and other South American countries, but also in Spain and Andorra.
How To Make Alfajores
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. You may use an electric mixer/beaters or mix by hand. Cream butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg yolks and mix until well combined, then mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add your mix of dry ingredients to your butter and egg mixture mixing until well combined. You should have dough like mixture to form your cookies.
Turn the dough out and divide into two, then shape each portion into a long cylinder or a log. Each portion of dough should be about 450g each. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour until firm. Each log should be roughly 250cm in length and 50cm in diameter.
Once your dough is nice and firm, place on a cutting board and with a sharp knife cut your dough out into medallions. Each cookie should be no more than 15mm in thickness;you will get roughly 15 cookies per log of dough. As this cookie is a sandwich be sure that you have an even amount of cookies to bake.
Place the cookies out onto a tray with baking paper being sure to leave at least 1cm space between, place into the oven and cook for roughly 12-14 minutes. Your cookies should be firm and lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on the top. Allow the cookies to cool out of the oven, you won’t need to use a cooling rack.
Once your cookies are completely cooled take one cookie and place a tablespoon of dulce de leche (see recipe below) onto the base of the cookie and smooth until evenly covered. Then place another cookie on top to sandwich between the dulce de leche
The finish your cookies roll them through some desiccated coconut so it sticks to the dulce de leche and lightly dust with icing sugar.
How To Prepare Dulce De Leche
Remove the paper label from the can and place unopened into a medium sized pot. Cover with water till it is about an inch over the top of the can then bring to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, immediately bring down to a low heat and gently simmer for 3 hours.
It’s very important that the simmer is very low and consistent and the water always remains an inch over the top of the can. Top up the water when needed to keep it at the correct level.
After 3 hours turn off the heat and let the water come to room temperature. Be sure not to open the can until it has cooled completely.
Once the can is cooled and opened you should have a lovely thick glossy Dulce De Leche to make Alfajores with. If you don’t have the time to make Dulce De Leche the old school way there are plenty of stores online where you can purchase it premade and ready to go!