Thursday, December 10, 2009

Alfajores de Maicena - Argentinean Shortbread like Biscuits with Caramel Filling.

Of all the hundreds of recipes that I have I think the one most synonymous with my Mum is Alfajores. Every Christmas she would make Alfajores for friends and family.

They became so popular we used to end up making batches of over 300 alfajores every Christmas - it was a veritable production line of dulce de leche, biscuits, and coconut... and of course with the occasional guest appearance from my Papa (seen here in a photo with my brother) who liked to sneak out with the broken bits which couldn't be used!!

After my mum passed away I took up the mantle and make Alfajores for my friends every Christmas, in a small attempt to keep the memory of those days and the joy of her spirit and love of life alive.

Alfajores de Maicena


For Biscuit:

  • 100g of butter
  • 3/4 cups of white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of lemon rind
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of cornflour
  • 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Dulce de Leche (Make the Dulce de Leche the day before):

See previous blog entry under Dulce de Leche for how to make the famous Argentine caramel)

  • Condensed Milk
  • Dessicated coconut

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. If you have pre-made the Dulce de Leche, take out of the fridge before you start cooking to help soften the caramel for later use in compiling of the Alfajore)

To make the biscuit:
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar into a bowl until creamy.

Add the egg yolk and then the whole egg and beat some more until the whole mixture is creamy and mixed in.

Place in a small amount of the lemon rind and mix.

In another bowl mix the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Once mixed place in the mixture above and slowly mix through making a dough.

Roll part of the dough onto a floured surface (makesit easier to manage if you do it a little at a time until about 1/2 cm thick.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circular biscuits and place on a well greased baking tray (for Christmas I have used other shapes too - but the traditional alfajore is round).

Place in the oven and cook. The alfajore shouldn't take colour - this is very much a recipe which will require you to look at the biscuits and assess if they are ready ... you can tell when the dough is cooked and it takes a biscuit like shape and texture. Once they are ready take the tray out of the oven. Once the bisucuits have cooled down a little, pile the biscuits carefully on the plate. Continue making more biscuits until the dough is finished.

Compiling the Alfajore:

Place some dessicated coconut into a bowl.

Open a can of Dulce de Leche.

Take a biscuit andplace a generous helping of dulce de leche over the whole biscuit. Take another biscuit and place on top. On the outside edges of the two biscuits gently place some dulce de leche with a butter knife covering from the top to bottom of the sides. Take the biscuit edge and pass through the dessicated coconut so that it sticks to the edge of the biscuit.

You can see the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!



  1. These are worth looking forward to all year. Can't help but think that's it's not as simple as following these instructions to make them though. They couldn't be!

  2. Hi Mariella!
    Having just made 100 alfajores this weekend ... I can promise you it's that easy! :)

  3. Having just eaten three, I can tell you that part of the process is definitely easy.


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