Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alfajores- A Peruvian Treat

There comes a time in every mama's life when she decides that an afternoon snack does not need to be healthy. Sometimes, it just needs to be yummy. So while I browsed for ideas and recipes, I found one for alfajores. Now I can't say this enough.... even if dulce de leche seems like an item that would be easy to find because you love it and you've seen a kaziliion recipes on Pinterest that call for it, it is not easy to find and there are even many people who will look as you as if you are crazy when you ask for it. Of course, we live in Rural Maine, so if you live somewhere else, you might have no trouble finding dulce de leche... the point is, don't plan to buy your ingredients the same day that you plan to make the alfajores. After spending much of the day trying desperately to track down dulce de leche, and deciding that I was not going to spend ten hours making it, or even three hours, and the one hour recipe seemed a bit like overkill, I bought some caramel fruit dip. 

Anyway, here are the steps that we used to make these yummy little Peruvian inspired treats. 
Step 1: Wash hands (sorry I didn't take a picture of this step)
Step 2: Add 1 3/4 cup of corn starch, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt to your bowl.

Step 3: Mix the ingredients.

Step 4: Cut butter using a pastry blender or knife in a separate bowl.
Step 5: Add the flour mixture.
Step 6: Wash your hands again.
Step 7: Mix the butter and flour mixture with your hands until smooth. 

Step 8: Wash your hands again.
Step 9: Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tbsp of apple juice (the recipe actually called for Pisco, a Peruvian Brandy, but we didn't have any of that and as it turns out, Pisco is also not available at the local grocery store), and 1 tsp vanilla.
Step 10: Wash your hands.... again.
Step 11: Mix the ingredients with your hands again, until smooth and dough forms a ball.
Step 12: Wash your hands again.
Step 13: Put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 14: (Optional) Refill your soap dispenser.
Step 15: After the dough has chilled for 30 minutes, wash your hands again and roll the dough  out and cut into 2 inch circles. 
Step 16: Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on parchment lined baking sheets for 10-15 minutes, until slightly golden brown. 

Step 17: Let cool for 5 minutes and then use your dulce de leche (or store bought caramel fruit dip, as we did) to create sandwiches.  

The next step of this recipe is to roll them in coconut, but I am allergic to coconut (this makes me very sad), so we skipped this step.   
Step 18: Sample the goods.

Or just give the goods a stare down because your belly hurts from sampling too much along the way. 
Have you tried any new recipes lately? How about discovered that an item on your grocery list is too exotic for your region? Have you been adventurous and made dulce de leche yourself rather than try to find it at the grocery? 

**The original recipe that I followed can be found here


  1. Once I looked up a recipe for dulce de leche--it involved boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk for hours. Insane (not to mention the BPA you would get from that can). But, the wine & cheese store near Barnes & Noble has this goat milk caramel sauce that tastes just like dulce de leche (you should go get some and just eat it out of the jar, it is so good). Also, why didn't you use Allen's coffee brandy to give them that central Maine flavah?

    1. This comment made me laugh so hard. When I was looking at the grocery store for pisco, there were like 5 shelves filled with Allen's coffee brandy. Clearly a popular item in these parts ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Jenn, you should make these and refuse to share! They are so yummy, even without real dulce de leche, pisco and coconut, I think if these were made with those items I would probably die from the delight :)

    2. Oh, and don't tell my kids but I had one of these for breakfast :)


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