Mini Alfajores

Cookies, Desserts

Have I ever told you I’m really bad at math? Don’t ask me math questions. And please answer mine. If I’m asking, it means they’re serious and important.

For instance, if I for some reason burst into our office, covered in flour, and ask you how many grams 3/4 of a cup of flour is…it’s important. Really important.

Also, I’m a little heavy handed with the sugar when putting it in my coffee. Don’t judge me.

Let’s do cookie math, shall we? It’s way more fun than normal, real life math flour math…mainly because we get to eat this math.

This recipe yields 50 small cookies. For each cookie sandwich you’ll need two buttery, shortbread cookies and one small teaspoon of dulce de leche. Each cookie is about two bites. That means this recipe will give you 50 glorious, delicious bites of my childhood.

Yes, that’s right. These cookies you see here were some of the first I baked up. Ever.

Why did I wait this long to make them for the blog you ask?

I sort of have an attitude with most alfajores. The ones of my childhood were glorious–they were made with dulce de leche (a.k.a manjar blanco) that was stirred for hours and hours (by hand!!).

The shortbread cookie was soft and crumbly. The cookies were filled with about two tablespoons of dulce de leche and then rolled in powdered sugar. MAJOR!

But…they were always too big. Too rich. Just too much to eat (for me at least).

It’s totally silly to say that I really never thought of simply making them smaller-which is about the easiest thing to do, ever.

I think it’s that they were so ingrained in my head as these monster cookies that I never thought I could do it.

Just not really an option.

But guess what…I did. And I fell in love with them all over again.

They’re buttery, soft with just the perfect amount of give. Not too little dulce de leche, not too much…just enough.

A little sprinkling of powdered sugar on top…and you got yourself two bites of major cuteness.

Mini Alfajores

Print this recipe!

1 can sweetened condensed milk (label removed)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a large pot, fill with water to cover the can of sweetened condensed milk. Over high heat, bring to a boil Let simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary. Remove the can of dulce de leche from the water and let cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 350˙F. In a medium bowl combine flour and salt. In a stand-up mixer cream together butter, sugar and vanilla extract for 3-4 minutes, mixture will turn light and fluffy. As mixer is going, add in flour and mix until combined. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. On a heavily floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. The dough will be a little sticky so be sure to flour your roller, too. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out shortbread cookies and place on baking sheet. Poke a series of three holes, using a fork, in the center of each cookie.

4. Transfer cookies to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden brown. Let cool on wire rack. To assemble the sandwiches, open the can of dulce de lece. Lay half of the shortbread cookies bottom-side up. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of dulce de leche on one half of the cookies. Top with the other half and lightly press down until you’ve gone through all the cookies.

Yields approximately 25 sandwich cookies

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64 Comments

Leave a Reply

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake December 20, 2011 at 2:59 am

    i want these like right now!

  • Reply Alesha December 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    omg, just made these for my Christmas treats plates!! AMAZING….Thank you for the recipe, and your pics that make me want to make everything because it all looks so dang delicious!!

  • Reply Lee December 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I did a trial run of these last weekend to see if they’d make the cut for a cookie exchange I’m attending next weekend. They were fabulous! I used a 1 1/2″ star shaped cookie cutter to make them more seasonal. My taste testers were going gaga over them! Five stars!!

  • Reply Traci December 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    These look seriously absolutely amazing. And are DEFINITELY finding their way to my Christmas cookie plate this year! One question: how would they do if you froze them after assembly?

    On another note… your nail polish posts kind of make my day. No joke. My life is totally complete now that glitter nail polish is back in.

    • Reply Adrianna December 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Traci, I’m actually not sure if they’ll freeze well. Something tells me no due to the dulce de leche. But if you try it be sure to let me know if they do! I’m super curious.

      TEAM GLITTER!!

  • Reply HoneyFor Jam December 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Dulce De Leche, wow they look delicious! Is there anything better than condensed milk….I love it!

  • Reply Josie December 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    You can burst into my office anytime covered in flour asking how many grams 3/4 cups of flour weighs. However, you will be met with further questions related to relative humidity and protein content (all purpose, cake, bread or whole wheat flour). It’s kinda what I do every day. But with potatoes and french fries. Yeah. Being a Food Scientist is fun! 😀

  • Reply Monica @ Soirees & Such December 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I didn’t know you made dulce de leche this way!! I’ll definitely give it a try!

  • Reply Maria December 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love everything and anything mini! I’ve posted this to my Mexican food blog and I hope you’ll check it out! http://www.mexfoodrecipes.com. Have a great day, Maria

  • Reply percentblog December 5, 2011 at 5:48 am

    This look delicious and seem like a great respite from the sugar cookies and chocolate desserts of Christmas time, while still being a great sweet treat.

  • Reply Taelin December 5, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Perfection! Can’t wait to try this recipe! xx

  • Reply Nik December 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    These are darn cute!

    I’m also very terrible with math. Solidarity, sister.

  • Reply Kitty December 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Bravo! Your pics are beautiful…and yummy too!:)

  • Reply mali December 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I would not assure anyone that boiling a can of condensed milk is safe. It’s only safe if you make absolutely sure the can is fully covered with water the entire length of the cooking time–the water can never, ever, boil away because the can will explode. You will have dulce de leche on your walls and ceiling, believe me. So if you think you are likely to walk away and forget about what’s on your stove–understandable given the length of cooking time required–simply don’t attempt it. I grew up with a Cuban mom who always made us dulce de leche this way, and it’s delicious (at least to Hispanics like us who have a real sweet treat–it’s usually too much for Americans, in my experience). But please don’t underestimate the need for vigilance when you’re making something like this.

  • Reply Holly Henderson December 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Like… a mini whoopie pie made with shortbread? I’m in!

  • Reply Dana B @ thebakingbooth December 3, 2011 at 5:13 am

    what fun! I’m not a big fan of sweetened condensed milk, but these sound like one of the few recipes with it that I would really like! (besides homemade Bailey’s 🙂

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