First off: how do you say the name of these cookies? I say it “alf-a-hore-ay” and nobody’s ever looked at me funny, so go ahead and use my method. The alfajor (alfajores, plural) is a delectable type of crumbly cookie, commonly sandwiched with indulgent dulce de leche, which is very popular in South America. But like most things, it gets even better with a little peanut butter! This version includes peanut butter both in the cookie dough and mixed with the dulce de leche filling, making for a delectably addictive caramel peanut buttery treat.
Recipe notes: you are welcome to make your own dulce de leche (in fact, I applaud you if you do), but I found that the store-bought kind works just fine. Also, traditionally these cookies are dusted with confectioners’ sugar before serving, but I didn’t like what it did to the cookies’ texture, so I went without.
Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Yield: 24 sandwiches
1 cup cornstarch
1 ¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into ½ inch pieces and softened but still cool
1 tablespoon Smooth Operator peanut butter
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces cup dulce de leche
8 ounces Smooth Operator peanut butter, at room temperature
1. In a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix briefly.
2. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture, along with the peanut butter, using two forks or a pastry cutter to combine.
3. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and mix until the dough is homogeneous and smooth.
4. Divide the dough in half and form two disks. Wrap in plastic. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (it will make rolling it out easier).
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out dough to ¼” thickness, and cutting into 2 inch circles (although you can also cut out shapes if you’d like; I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to make a few unicorn cookies).
7. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch around each cookie to allow for minimal spreading.
8. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until they are barely golden brown.
9. Let cookies cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack to cool completely (they are quite fragile until they cool).
10.While the cookies cool, prepare the filling: in a medium bowl, mix the dulce de leche and peanut butter until smooth and combined.
11.Once the cookies are cool, spoon filling on to the bottom of one cookie, and then sandwich another on top, so the bottom side is on the filling. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
Jessie has some fun and cuts some of the dough into unicorns. What’s your favorite cookie cutter shape?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of Smooth Operator the peanut butter used in this recipe!
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, November 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 11/15/12 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter ($5 value). Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.
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