The Latin American favorite cookies called “Alfajores”


Up till I work with my manager who hails from Uruguay, I never heard of Alfajores. On her trip back to her country to visit her parents, she would normally hand-carry these delicate cookies all the way from Uruguay which is not a direct flight but passing through either Brazil or Argentina for her connecting flight to Amsterdam.

It was love at first bite when she introduced these cookies to me sometime ago and I would normally look forward to her trip back with these cookies. I got very curious that I decided that maybe this is not such a complicated recipe after all. I was right, this is indeed very simple as it just involves making the shortbread cookies, filling that with the dulce de leche and presto, I have my alfajores.

I got the recipe for shortbread cookies from my favorite Joy of Baking site.

Here are the ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg (optional and this is my own tweak to this recipe)

1 can Dulce de Leche or caramel
1 cup toasted coconut

Pre-heat oven to 350F (177C). Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly brown on the sides.

Flour mixture is flour with salt and nutmeg.

1. In a bowl, beat the butter (with an electric mixer of a hand mixer) until smooth and creamy for about a minute.

2. Add the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.

3. Beat in the vanilla extract.

4. Add the flour mixture.

5. And stir until just incorporated.

6. The dough should now be flattened and wrapped in a plastic film, chilled for at least an hour in the fridge or until firm.

7. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

8. Cut into hearts, rounds or other shapes.

My little helper enjoys the cookie-cutting process.

9. Place on the prepared baking sheet and put back on the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

The filling is Dulce de Leche or caramel.

Which I am combining with toasted coconut.

10. Spread a generous amount of dulce de leche on one cookie and topped that with the toasted coconut.

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

81 Responses to The Latin American favorite cookies called “Alfajores”

  1. OMG, these are adorable and look delicious too!

  2. You are right Alfajores are a bite of heaven. Love this post!

  3. kiwidutch says:

    Question1: where did you manage to score the carnation tin of caramel please?
    Question2: has your Latin American friend beaten you over the head and made off with these yet? … or is she on her knees thanking you for the recipe?
    Either way I bet she is really pleased with your delicious experimentation!

    • Malou says:

      You can get the Carnation caramel from the Toko. I got mine from Toko Tjin here in Amersfoort for Eur 1.65 (same price as the condensed milk).

      My manager is just so happy whenever I bring these cookies to the office. ;-)

  4. You’re becoming our international Julia Child!!!

  5. pusspudding says:

    A princess as kitchen helper … lucky you! The seems a bit sweet – are they??? So envy on all you, cookies bakers.

    • Malou says:

      So you noticed that she’s wearing one of her princess gowns. ;-)

      Yes, this is pretty sweet but the Latin Americans use dulce de leche on everything. ;-)

  6. These cookies look so darn pretty!!!

  7. runninghawk says:

    We had coffee today at one of our favorite cafés here in Buenos Aires, on the corner of Sanchez de Bustamonte and Libertador. They serve tiny round alfajores with your coffee. Delicious!

  8. jibuyabu says:

    They look cute and delicious.

  9. oh my goodness – these are beautiful! I love the step by step with photos.

  10. Erica says:

    Geeeez, looks delish!

  11. Jane says:

    Malou, these are so cute, and I bet delicious! I love anything caramel!

  12. They look delicious!!! Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks

  13. eof737 says:

    Bravo!!! They are exquisite. ;-)

  14. I love anything with coconut and carmel! I am going to try these this weekend. I really love the step by step pictures on your blog, they really make the post so interesting! Thanks for another great recipe!

  15. I will definitely have to make these for our grand kids. They look yummy and I love caramel. What a great Valentine party treat!

  16. I’ve never heard of these before, but they sound heavenly! I love just about anything with caramel, and a good shortbread cookie is hard to beat. Yum!

  17. Chel says:

    Thanks for the visit! Cheers!

  18. Can’t wait to try these!! They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe with us.

  19. Yet another cookie recipe to try! I’ve never seen canned caramel in stores around here. If I can’t find it when I get ready to make them, I’ll try making caramel sauce from scratch. Never done it but always wanted to try.

  20. SweetBakedSweets says:

    These are so cute, I will definitely have to try these :) I always enjoy finding recipes from around the world!

  21. I just recently had alfajores for the first time recently and loved them. Yours look so cute!

  22. Nate says:

    I’m now hungry for sweets. Thanks for the post.

  23. Dor says:

    These would be great for Valentine’s Day – or a Just for Love Day! They look so delicious.

  24. How tasty and interesting!

  25. I love alfajores! I make mine with cornstarch instead of flour…makes them even softer :)

  26. Gorgeous! I love how you made them heart-shaped! So much lovelier than the regular round!

  27. Looks so very yummy! Nice photo of the finished recipe!

  28. katherine says:

    These look sooo good! YUm thanks for sharing

  29. Ana Gaby says:

    I LOVE Alfajores! When I used to go to Uruguay for work I would bring boxes over. I never thought of making them myself! Thanks for the recipe! I don’t have dulce de leche, but I have the mexican version called Cajeta at home so I will attempt to make mexicanized alfajores in the near future!

  30. ehpem says:

    Oh yum! My wife is from Argentina and makes something very similar. :)

  31. J M Naszady says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen these. Yummy!

  32. mstokes2008 says:

    Those look so good!! Thanks for following my blog btw!!

  33. Looks yummy!! And how sweet to see that your little girl enjoys helping you out!! :D

  34. Those look amazing!!!


  35. Michi says:

    What a wonderful baker you are!! I had never heard of alfajores. I hope I can give them a try one day! :)

  36. Madhu says:

    I binged on Alfajores in Buenos Aires! Now I can do that at home :-) Thank you!

  37. J and Y says:

    These look yum and I’m absolutely going to make them this week. I love dulce de leche, but am never quite sure of how to incorporate it in a recipe, so thanks! The heart shapes are very cute.

  38. they do look lovely indeed! I’ll have to try them sometime!
    P.S.: pleased to meet you, and thanks for passing by my blog :-)

  39. Sihi says:

    Love them!

  40. Bassas Blog says:

    Great recipe supported by very clear step by step photos – excellent!

  41. Great photos and fun reading. Experiencing a new country as a resident rather than a tourist is such an amazing experience.

    Also, thanks for following my blog. And I’m adding yours to my list!

  42. love your little girls’ small hand :-)

  43. Vic Rana says:

    Thanks Malou for the recipe…looks yummy.

    I like the fact they are eggless since I don’t eat eggs. :-)



  44. mayihavethatrecipe says:

    I I love alfajores. I have a Peruvian friend that made them once for me. I am definetely trying this recipe

  45. kristina says:

    these cookies look amazing!! loving your blog!!

  46. rumpydog says:

    Wow! those look so good! Can I have one?

  47. Hi,
    Great recipe- YUM!

  48. Wow! Look at those cookies! They look so good! And how neat is that to have your daughter help you out! I love this shortbread recipe. It seems so easy. I will have to give it a try!

  49. I absolutely have to make these – shortbread AND dulce de leche. Doesn´t get much better!

  50. Dugutigui says:

    I live in Argentina and I don’t like them… :)

  51. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    These look so sweet – both adorable and yummy. I’ll have to give these a go soon! :)

  52. These sound wonderful, I will have to try these for sure….thanks for the share!

  53. adela120 says:

    I love these! Can’t wait to try it out! yum!

  54. Mélanie says:

    Oh my! I remember eating these when I was in Chile… yummy!

  55. Andrea says:

    Yum! We sell these at the bakery I work at, but I try not to eat too many of the sweets we sell there because I ALSO bake at home, and eating all that sugar would be a prooooblemm. But I can’t wait to try this recipe so I CAN eat them! Haha, thank you! Love the heart shape, too.

  56. Emme says:

    Now those look like heaven!

  57. rawandunripe says:

    Ohhh I’ve never seen these cookies before! I’m definitely going to try making these for my friends and family!

  58. I just love this post.I discovered these delicious cookies about a month ago. Alfajores together with madelines are the new in thing as cupcakes have had their run.
    However a good cupcake is always welcome.
    So for my dinner party tomorrow I will be making up a batch of both.

  59. crindahl says:

    These look great! can’t wait to try the recipe!

  60. These look delicious! I love baking cookies. I think I will try making these. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  61. Your alfajores look just beautiful ! They are my favorite cookie also, and I’m looking forward to having the real thing in Peru when I get there in May. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and liking the post on Cross Creek. I hope to see you back soon!

  62. those look so good. i must try this the next time i make heart cookies. thanks for sharing!

  63. Jen says:

    these look delicious, I can’t wait to try to make them.

  64. I love alfajores! My family’s Brazilian and we have something similar called “bem casados”. The dulce de leche filling is the same but the cookies are softer. Both desserts are delicious!

  65. These are the prettiest alfajores I’ve ever seen, and they look so yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’ll have to make these soon!

  66. merili says:

    I was just looking for a way to make alfajores and you stumbled across my page. What luck! Love your posts by the way!

  67. Arohika says:

    These look yumm… will be making them soon.

  68. Karista says:

    Malou these cookies look divine! And your little Angel is just beautiful. Love the new pictures of the tulips. Wow! Your photography is incredible. Delicious Wishes!!

  69. I definitely need to try out this recipe!


  70. dearmaroon says:

    Mmmm… these look good! And so convenient as I have been wondering about alfajores since Yolo got back from Argentina and posted her recipe for Dulce de Leche. Thank you for sharing! Another one of your recipes I’ll definitely have to try.

  71. Mary says:

    Yum! These look delicious and are so pretty!

  72. olgastorace says:

    I live in Uruguay and I love alfajores!, you should try to find dulce de leche in some specialty store to make them taste really good!

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