I was drawn towards this recipe because of its unusual name, but fell in love with it as soon as finished reading it and even more when I tasted it couple of hours later. When I come across new recipe I usually spend more time researching it, looking for alternatives, comparing the recipes. Not this time, it just felt right. I see Alfajores as a signature bake of South America, their equivalent to shortbread or chocolate-chip cookie, with as many versions as there are countries on the continent. And they awfully resemble Serbian favourite Vanilice. I believe that one I made is one of the Argentinian varieties. They own they delicate texture to the cornstarch rich dough, that makes it smooth, easy to handle and results in tender, crumbly cookie sandwiched together with a generous spoon of Dulce de Leche.
130 gr cornstarch
130 gr plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
115 gr unsalted soft butter
70 gr sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 gr of Dulce de Leche
Icing sugar for dusting
Mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy, add egg yolks, brandy and vanilla to get smooth texture. Sift together the rest of dry ingredients in a separate bowl then combine it with the butter mixture. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it tightly and place into a refrigerator until firm, for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 170 C /350 F, line baking sheets with parchment paper..
Place the dough on a lightly floured worktop, roll to 0.6 cm and using a 5 cm round cutter cut around 24 rounds.
Place the circles at least 1 cm apart and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until pale golden on the bottom, while remain pale on top. Let them cool on a wire rack and sandwich together with Dulce de Leche. Dust with icing sugar.
1 can, 400 ml sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F
Pour milk into a oven safe dish and cover tightly with aluminium foil; place in a roasting pan filled with water to reach halfway up the sides of the milk dish. Place on the middle rack and bake for 1 hour.
Take the dish out, whisk the mixture until smooth, replace cover and put back in the oven; add more water into a roasting pan and bake for another hour and half.. When ready, whisk the Dulce de Leche until smooth and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.