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5 from 9 votes

Alfajores Recipe

These are Peruvian alfajores. Manjar blanco that is spiked with cinnamon and cloves is sandwiched in between two light shortbread-like cookies. The sides are rolled in powdered sugar. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Peruvian, South American
Keyword: alfajor, alfajores, alfajores de maicena, alfajores recipe, dulce de leche, how to make alfajores, manjar blanco, peru desserts, peruvian alfajores
Servings: 22 cookies
Calories: 386kcal
Author: Adrianna Adarme

Equipment

Ingredients

Manjar-Blanco Short Cut:

Manjar Blanco Short Cut Option #2

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch kosher salt

Vanilla Shortbread Cookie:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch, sifted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 large egg yolk

Assembly:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

To Make the Manjar Blanco Short Cut:

  • To a medium bowl, add the store-bought dulce de leche, along with the cinnamon, ground cloves and salt. Mix until smooth and completely combined. Set aside. 

To Make the Manjar Blanco Short Cut #2:

  • 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. Carefully remove the can of pot and allow to come to room temperature before opening. 
  • Open the can and pour into a bowl. Mix in the cinnamon, cloves and salt. 

To Make the Cookies:

  • To the medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, sifted corn starch, powdered sugar and salt. Set aside. 
  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (you can also use a medium bowl and an electric hand-mixer), add the butter and vanilla paste or extract. Beat until smooth. Next, add the egg yolk and mix just until incorporated. 
  • Add all of the flour mixture and slowly mix it together (being sure not to go too quickly or else the flour will fly out of the bowl), until combined, about 1 minute. 
  • Scoop the dough out of the bowl and form it into a ball. Place it in the center of a sheet of plastic wrap and press it into about a 2-inch round. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for about 1 hour. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • When it’s done resting, in the fridge, transfer the dough to the center of a sheet of parchment. Place a sheet of parchment on top and roll it out slowly. (If it’s too cold, let it come closer to room temperature, about 10 minutes.) Roll it out until it’s about 1/2 to 1/4-inch thick.
  • Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, stamp out cookies, having them as close to each other as possible. Transfer the cookies (I found it easiest to use an offset spatula to pick up the cookies) to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2-inches apart. Transfer to the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes. Repeat until you work your way through all of the dough. I rerolled the dough about 2 more times. 
  • Score the tops of the cookies with a tines of a fork. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are a bit firm to the touch but have zero color on the edges. These cookies are baked just until set. Allow to cool on the baking sheets until room temperature. 

To Assemble the Alfajores:

  • When the cookies have cooled, flip half of the cookies on their opposite side. Transfer the manjar blanco to a piping bag with a piping tip attached (this part is optional). Pipe a round of manjar blanco on all of the cookies facing their opposite sides. 
  • Alternatively, you could also spoon the manjar blanco onto each of the cookies and smooth it out (gently because the cookies are delicate) using a butter knife. 
  • Top each of the cookies with another cookies and lightly press it down. Roll the sides in the sifted powdered sugar. 
    Store in an air-tight container or bag for up to 3 to 5 days. 

Notes

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Nutrition

Serving: 10g | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.1g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 19.1g | Saturated Fat: 11.9g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 0.2mg