So last time I made alfores they were OKAAAY, but nowhere near great. The biscuits were inconsistent and irregular shapes, but worst of all, the dulce de leche was not cooked long enough so the cookies melted and went all over the tray I used to transport them to my Spanish class.
This time I used a little more guidance from a proper source. My boyfriend bought me a Peruvian cookbook when he was there last year and I have slowly been getting through the recipes, but this is one have not touched. I did alter a few things, but in the end, they were 100 times better than my first attempt YES! I suppose tonight when I take them to Capoeira, all the South American’s can be my judges and tell me if I got it right or completely missed the mark……
The key, in my opinion, to a good Alfajores is a thick round cookie, well cooked dulce de leche that wont run all down your fingers as you bite into it and it must be a god thick layer at that, no vegemite like spreading here we want thick quantity of smooth sweet dulce de leche. The biscuit it not so sweet so they work very well together and are yummo.
What I did differently this time is made sure my douch was very smooth and not too crumby, don’t be scared to add extra butter to help it combine, remember you want a smooth cookie to work with…..it will look prettier! Next thing to do is to roll out logs of the dough and wrap it in glad wrap so they stay in this shape, then refrigerate for at least an hour so they are nice and firm. The reason to do this is so your cookies are a consistent size and shape, which is very important when making ’sandwich cookies’.
Finally I hard core cooked the condensed milk to make sure the dulce de leche was a thick, and dark brown consistency. I cooked it on high for 4 hrs (mind you I have an electric stove top, so gas will need less time).
The only thing I did wrong this time was overestimate how much condensed milk I actually needed to cook. I was scared 2 cans would not be enough, and also I would hate it if one did not work, so it is better to have to much….but I ended up with about 1.5 cans left over…..so be confident that you will cook it correctly otherwise you will be working out ways to include it in all of your cooking for a week, then not be able to eat it for a long long time.
My suggestion is to try to give some away, then use it in hot milk on a cold night or over ice cream mmmmmmmmmmm
All in all though, they were soooo good this time, and did not take that long to make, it depends on how long it takes you to make the dulce de leche. Believe me though, if you know any South American’s, they will be offering you money for what you have made, so I suggest to make them in bulk!
250g Self raising flour
250g cornflour (cornstarch)
3 tbsp icing sugar
100g butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
400g dulce de leche (1 can condensed milk cooked*)
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
2. Sift flour, cornflour and icing sugar into a bowl.
3. Rub through the butter with your hands to form dry crumbs and then add the egg yolk and milk, then knead until it forms a soft dough.
4. Roll out a log the size of the cookies and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate.
5. Once hard take cookies out of the fridge and cut them out to be 4mm thick. Prick each with a fork twice, then bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool the cookies.
6. Spread dulce de leche over one cookie and sandwich it with another. Sift with icing sugar to serve.
* To make dulce de leche, cook the condensed milk can in a pot of boiling water, which is continually topped up, for 4.5 hrs. This dulce de leche needs to be quite firm so it is not bad to cook it a little longer than normal for more runny dulce de leche, which would be 3.5 hrs.