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Alfajores (Peruvian Caramel Cookies)

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Alfajores- Peruvian Caramel Cookie! These shortbread-like cookies are sandwiched around caramel and topped with chocolate and sugar…yum!

Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu!

I’m back!  For those of you who follow the comings and goings of Easybaked you know that I spent about 10 days in Peru.  It was a wonderful trip.  I visited my childhood friend Deb in Lima and then the two of us toured Machu Picchu and spent a few days in the Amazon jungle.  The foods were incredible, especially the fresh fruits!  I will add some pictures of our trip at the end….

One of the treats we had in Peru was a cookie called an Alfajore.  The cookie is very subtle- not too sweet- and very dense.  It is served with a caramel filling called Manjarblanco.  I had this filling in a variety of desserts and kept thinking that it tasted like Dulce de Leche.  When I returned home and looked it up I found that it is Dulce de Leche- in a convenient little pouch and ready to eat.

Manjarblanco

Here is my version of this yummy cookie.  If you like things that aren’t overwhelmingly sweet, this is your dessert!

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies (makes about 24 sandwich cookies)

  • 1/2stick (2 oz) butter (softened)
  • 1/4c. sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • a few drops of rum (optional)
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Dulce de Leche:

  •  1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (or Manjarblanco if you live in an area that offers this!)

DIRECTIONS:

{If you can’t purchase ready-made manjarblanco (dulce de leche), you will need to make your own.  Do this before making your cookies as it takes some time and will need to cool.  My favorite method of making dulce de leche involves boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk, and I have detailed instructions if you click here.}

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Cream together sugar and butter.
  • Add eggs, corn syrup, vanilla and rum.
  • Add flour and baking soda last, and knead dough together with clean hands. (The dough will be dry- a little like play-dough in consistency.  You can add a little water to soften it up if necessary.)
  • Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thick and cut using a 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch cookie cutter.
  • Place on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until just turning brown on top.
  • Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a rack.
  • Spread cookies with cooled caramel and sprinkle with powdered sugar/ drizzle with a little chocolate if you like.


Alfajores (Peruvian caramel cookie)!

My thoughts:  I love international recipes.  One of my favorite parts of travel is trying new foods and hearing stories about how those foods fit in with the lives of the people I meet.  These cookies are really good, and available all over in Peru.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!!

Alfajores
Alfajores-- yummy dulce de leche filling!

A few glimpses at Peru…such a beautiful country full of kind and beautiful people!

Sunrise at Machu Picchu

Sunrise at Machu Picchu

Stairs up Wayana Picchu

Stairs up Wayana Picchu

Beautiful Machu Picchu!!!

Beautiful Machu Picchu!!!

Amazon Village

Amazon Village

Piranha fishing!!

Piranha fishing!!

Jungle hike...baby ferns

Jungle hike…baby ferns

Fresh watermelon in the market at Iquitos

Fresh watermelon in the market at Iquitos

Sloth cuddles :)

Sloth cuddles 🙂

Anaconda!

Anaconda!

Amazon sampler: Jungle pig, Cayman and Paiche (Arapayma)

Amazon sampler: Jungle pig, Cayman and Paiche (Arapayma)

Deb and I - we've been friends since we were two!  Fun trip!!

Deb and I – we’ve been friends since we were two! Fun trip!!

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About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing! www.easybaked.net

29 responses »

  1. I have so many things to comment on!!! #1 – These cookies look SO good!! #2 – Your pictures from Peru are stunning! #3 – You got to hold a sloth?!?! I am sooo jealous! I went to Costa Rica two years ago and I was hoping to go to the sloth sanctuary where you can hold them and see them up close but we didn’t make it. To add insult to injury I only saw one the entire week we were there and I only saw it from behind, hanging in a tree. They are such cool creatures! 🙂

    Reply
    • Holding a sloth was high on my list of things I wanted to do and it almost didn’t happen- lol! They are really such interesting animals! You really should try to visit Peru (and not just for the sloth!) it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

      Reply
  2. Love the cookies and your photo’s are beautiful, Peru is beautiful. That sloth is just too cute and I would love to hold one!! Piranha fishing wow, don’t think I would be putting my hand that close to those razor sharp teeth. You are very brave wrapping that anaconda around your neck!! Looks like you had such a wonderful trip.

    Reply
  3. I love cookies and caramel,too. It sounds like a perfect combo. And your pictures are amazing, such a lovely trip, I wish I could see Peru, sometime in the future!

    Reply
  4. I loved this post. So many wonderful photos and I love the idea of this cookie. International travel is something I can’t wait to do…

    Reply
  5. You have all of my favorite things in this post. Alfajores – my favorite cookie ever and Machu Picchu. What a wonderful trip you had, and so fortunate to have a friend in Peru.

    Reply
    • It’s so much fun that we’ve shared some of the same experiences! I’m glad you tried an Alfajore cookie when you were there- I almost missed them entirely, I didn’t discover them until nearly the end of my trip!

      Reply
  6. OMG ! I missed the snake picture the first time I looked at your photos. Are you crazy???? Love the sloth!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Caramel sweet treats on a relaxing and surprise-filled Mother’s Day | food flavor fascination

  8. Great post. However, alfajores are traditionally made with corn starch, not flour.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tip Sarah! I actually read quite a bit about them before I started experimenting and it actually depends on the country. Some use flour and some use corn starch— and some use a combination of the two. My final recipe tastes a lot like what we had in Peru, but I think it might be fun to tweak the recipe to include cornstarch and compare the two!

      Reply
  9. these look amazing! can’t wait to try them out!

    Reply
  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been wanting to make the Alfajores Cookies but i didnt find a recipe like yours. Most of all i appreciate your tip on the Dulce de Leche and enjoyed the pictures you posted. You looked like you had an enjoyable visit reconnecting & bonding with your long time friend!

    Reply
    • You are so, so welcome! I think my recipe isn’t a traditional one, it’s just a recreation of what I remember them tasting like. I did have such a nice visit with my friend Deb! Thanks for stopping by and connecting– I hope your cookies turn out perfectly!!

      Reply
  11. Deborah Giovanna Aliaga Mena

    Los alfajores son buenísimos, me alegra mucho que hayas venido por este lado del mundo.
    Aquí hay tantos deliciosos postres.
    Prueba hacer los alfajores combinando harina y maizena, la maizena le da una rica textura.

    The alfajores are great, I’m so glad you came to this side of the world.
    Here are so many delicious desserts.
    Try making alfajores combining flour and cornstarch, cornstarch gives good texture.

    Deborah – Lima, Perú

    Reply
    • Thank you for the tip!! I was really glad for the translation- I had a little panic when I started reading…my Spanish is pretty bad! I absolutely LOVED your part of the world. Peru is just beautiful!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!!

      Reply
  12. Hi, made me really happy to see how well appreciated is my country, I am so happy you had a great time as well as enjoying our desserts over there, I make alfajores not so long that I started and everybody love them, that much that I decided to sell them, thanks a lot for visiting my country Peru, the doors are always open for new visitors and our people welcome you anytime. I am from Arequipa, not sure if you were there, but if you were not, our Misti is waiting for you.

    Reply
  13. I tried making the cookies using your recipe however my dough came out like apple crumble dough, I had to tweak by adding more wet ingredients like butter and eggs… I saved the dough and made over 80 cookies , 4 x the ingredients . Yummmmy

    Reply

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