Argentinian Alfajores (Marplatenses)

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Alfajores are very popular in South America and each country has their own favorite version. Theses alfajores are originally from Mar de la Plata- Argentina and sold everywhere. You can even find these type of alfajores in stores and airports all over South America. Havanna brand sells them and they are one of the things I always buy when I go to Peru.

I have tested this recipe a couple of times and finally I am very happy with the results and that is why I’m sharing this recipe with you.

Video of how I make this recipe is on my Instagram. Click HERE.

Yield about 20 alfajores but it all depends how big you want them to be.. I used a 3 inches cookie cutter but you can use a smaller one.

Ingredients

For the cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used dark but you can use regular)

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

4 tablespoons cornstarch

13 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 teaspoons honey

zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons brandy (optional)

For the filling

1 can dulce de leche by La Lechera

For the chocolate coating

1 bag chocolate candy melts (you can use dark or light)

Directions

For the cookies

1.- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.- In a bowl mix flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Mix well, set aside.

3.- In another bowl and using a mixer, beat butter for 2 minutes. Then, add powdered sugar(sifted) and mix both ingredients in medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffly.

4.- Add in vanilla extract, mix for 30 seconds. Add honey, mix for 30 seconds again. Add orange zest and brandy (if using), mix for one minute.

5.- Add eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.

6.- Finally, add dry ingredients mix in low speed for the first 30 seconds and then mix in medium speed until everything is well combined. The dough should resemble play dogh

7.- Divide the dough in half. Make them a ball and flatten them. Cover them in plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. If you want to speed this process, place the dough into the freezer for 1 hour. Dough should be hard.

8.- Take one half of the dough out of the fridge/freezer and place it on top of a floured surface. Like I said, dough will be hard so take your time to roll it out. If it starts breaking on the edges, use your hands to make it nice and even again. Roll to ¼-inch thick.

9.- Using a round cookie cutter, cut circles. Place them on top of your prepared cookie sheet. You will have leftover dough but it will be soft by now, so make a ball , cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate again before rolling again.

Chill the cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes and then bake. Bake cookies for 13 minutes.

10.- Let the cookies stay in the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack so they can cool completely.

For the filling

1.- Use a pastry bag and a round piping tip. Pour all the dulce de leche into your pastry bag.

2.- Grab half of your cookies and spread some dulce de leche on top. I usually make a big dollop in the center and then cover it with another cookie and press down gently so the filling spreads to the edges.

3.- Repeat this process with all the cookies. Place all your cookies on top of a cookie sheet and chill them for 20 minutes. We are doing this so the dulce de leche filling hardens up a bit so it helps when we coat them into the chocolate.

For the chocolate coating

1.- In the microwave, melt your chocolate into a bowl/cup. Always check your chocolate every 60 seconds and stir.

2.- Stir pretty good so your chocolate is all melted and smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable/canola and stir. This helps to thin out the chocolate. Wait for your chocolate to cool off but do not wait too long because it can get hard again.

3.- Take your alfajores out of the fridge and start dipping one by one into the melted chocolate and place it on top a a cookie sheet lined with WAX PAPER OR FOIL. Be sure to get rid of any chocolate excess , you can use a spatula or a knife.

4.- Let the chocolate rest so it can get hard or you can place them into the fridge again to speed this process.

5.- When the chocolate is all hard you can enjoy them!! Storage them into a container or wrap them individually with foil paper (that is what i do). Do not store them in the fridge.

6.- These alfajores taste even better the day after you make them.

Enjoy!!!!

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