Recipe for the Week – Alfajores

5:42:00 pm

This recipe for the week came into being after I saw the Mexican Cuisine event at My Food Treasures. I did some searching around the internet and this dish – alfajores – caught my eye. If you are unfamiliar with this (as I was the first time I heard this name), let Mr. Wiki shed some light:

‘An alfajor or alajú[1] (Spanish pronunciation: [alfaˈxor], plural alfajores; derived from Arabic: الفاخر‎, "luxury", "exquisite") is a traditional confection[2] found in some regions of Spain and in parts of Latin America, including Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.[3]

It is basically a sandwich of two shortbread cookies, with a sweet filling, and sometimes rolled in coconut. Apparently, the Mexican version uses more coconut than the others.

It looked interesting, and the fact that it could be covered in chocolate sort of decided it for me J. Traditionally, the filling is Dulce de Leche which is a caramel syrup, but nowadays, they have expanded their fillings to include chocolate as well. Which is exactly what I did!

First, the recipe for the shortbread cookies.

What you’ll need:

130 g all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
30 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

What you’re going to do:

1. In a bowl whisk the flour with the salt.

2. In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.

3. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.

4. Gently beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

5. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.

6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

7. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick. Make sure your dough is firm enough, else it will stick like hell.

8. Using a lightly floured 2 inch (5 cm) cookie cutter, cut out shapes.

9. Place on the baking sheets and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (This will firm the cookies so they maintain their shape when baked.)

10. Bake for about 7 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

The cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

Next, the filling, for which I made a basic chocolate ganache.

What you’ll need:

100 g chocolate
50 ml cream
1 tbsp butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature

What you’re going to do:

1. Heat cream till it starts to boil and turn off.

2. Pour immediately over chopped chocolate and stir till completely melted.

3. Add butter and stir till smooth.

4. Cool and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(Of course, you could always skip this and use Nutella J)

Now, assembling the alfajores.

Take two shortbread cookies and sandwich them together with a heaping teaspoon of filling.  Press together gently and rest.

Finally, coating for the alfajores.

1. Chop 100 g milk chocolate and melt in the microwave (stirring every 10 seconds)

2. With the help of a fork dip one of the alfajores in the melted chocolate, drain and place on wax paper.

3. Let the chocolate set completely, chill if necessary.

Bonus – garnishing.

Now comes the garnishing part. You can do it all sorts of ways:

1. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with confectioner’s sugar.
2. Coat sides with coconut.
3. Dip half the cookie in chocolate
4. Cover completely in chocolate

(The last two steps require some skill – as you can see mine are far from perfect!!)

I loved the completely coated alfajor – chocolate on the inside, chocolate on the outside and light, soft, buttery cookies in between – BLISS!!!!

They probably sound familiar to my ill fated macarons; it’s basically two cookies being sandwiched with filling. But these were heavenly, and not half as sweet as macarons!!! Do try these out – the process might seem a bit long drawn, but it really is very simple!! The problem is that they’re dangerous; you can’t seem to stop with one!!!

This recipe is a participant in the ‘Flavors of Cuisines - Mexican’ event by My Food Treasures and Erivum Puliyum.

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  1. OMG! You are totally going to ruin my diet:-( LOVE these!

    1. Thank you, Prerna!! They did throw off my diet for the couple of days they existed :-)

  2. Delicious love this chocolate dipped awesome treat.

    1. Thank you, Swathi!! Chocolate always wins me over any day :-)

  3. this looks awesome... i'm definitely going to try this some day...

    1. They're easier than they appear!! Do try them out and let me know :-)

  4. I am succha fan of baking and making desserts myself. This is one useful post. Also i am your new gfc follower, it will be great if you follow back too!


    1. Thank you, Devina!! I've checked out your blog too, it seems awesome!! I'd be happy to follow you back :-)

  5. You said it, chocolate always wins over anything for me too!!They look absolutely irresistible

  6. Hey, thanks a million for the visit and for the follow.....these chocolate covered shortbread looks delish...bookmarked!!....happy to follow u too.

    1. Thank you so much, Nisa!!! You have an amazing blog and I'm a fan!

  7. Giving this a try today itself :D Looks yum
    xoxo <3

    1. Thanks!! Do let me know how it turns out!

  8. oh god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yum yum yum!!!

  9. I just gained 5 pounds by looking at them and I still wanna eat them. Yum!!

    1. I know what you mean!!! And there are people who can eat the whole lot without gaining an ounce!!