Alfajores is my absolute favorite cookie. Can’t remember the first time I had one, but it was love at first sight and taste. Yes, also sight. It is a beautiful little pale cookie, 2 layers filled with Dulce De Leche, and coconut all around.
As you probably know by now, I like figuring out how to turn recipes into Dairy Free, Gluten Free, or both. In this case I wanted to try coconut oil, for 2 main reasons (for more on baking with coconut oil click Here)-
1. It is much better for you than butter.
2. It will make it dairy-free and open new options…..
My main concern with Alfajores was the very delicate texture of the cookies. They are, as is, very soft, breakable and crumble. Not adding butter raised the question of if they would still be similar in texture and if they would not completely collapse.
I decided to try a recipe I have made before, based on an allrecipe.com I found way back.
1 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cornstarch – yes it is a lot but this is where the texture comes from……
2 tsp.baking powder
1 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, room temperature – if you love the taste of coconut as much as I do, you might like to add raw coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Lemon zest from a whole, medium sized lemon (ONLY if you like a scent of lemon, if not leave it out)
optional- a Tbsp. coffee, liqueur you like or another flavor
Very Cold water as needed
For Dairy Fillings:
Dulce De Leche
For Non Dairy Fillings:
Non dairy chocolate spread
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
round, heart shaped or any favorite cookie cutter. i like to make bite sized Alfajores as well as medium sized ones.
To bake the cookies, turn the oven to 350F/180C. Place baking paper on 2 baking pans
Mix the sugar and coconut oil until well combined.
Add yolks one at a time.
Add vanilla, lemon zest and if you like another flavor (coffee, liqueur etc about a tbsp.)
Place the bowl on the table, from here it is all by hand…..
In a sift place flour, corn starch and baking powder and sift it into the bowl. In this recipe sifting is very important to keep the very delicate texture.
Sift in the flour mixture and slowly incorporate it into the eggs.
Add very cold water until you get a nice soft dough.
Wrap the dough well and cool in the fridge for an hour.
Spread the dough the thickness you like, taking into account it does double in the oven because of the baking powder. I find it is easiest to roll the dough in-between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut your cookies, place on a baking pan and bake for about 8 minutes- until they are very light brown. They need to be baked but stay almost white.
After baking, cool completely and then match couples.
On one, spread your filling- I use piping bags and find it easiest as they break easy and tend to break when spreading with a fork or knife.
Place the 2nd cookies on top and roll in coconut.
With Dulce De Leche
IF you don’t finish them right away, you can store in a sealed container either in room temperature or in the fridge. I find that in the fridge makes them even better, similarly to Macaroons, they become a bit harder (still crubmle and delicate) and easier to eat.
These are beautiful and delicious!
Enjoy and I would love to hear from you.