Olivia Ujlaki and Emma Ujlaki
Updated: Jan 3
A Latin American treat from Nochebuena Cocina Holiday Kitchen.
Sure, there are snowballs and chocolate chip cookies, but sometimes you want a different cookie to bring to your holiday party. Well, look no further than the alfajores.
Traditionally a treat from Latin America, this cookie sandwich with dulce de leche screams elegance (I'm thinking the classy Christmas episode of The Office).
The Disney parks shared this recipe from EPCOT's International Festival of the Holidays on National Cookie Day, and I forced my sister (hi Emma) to make it as an addition to our Christmas spread.
Yields 12 sandwiches
Recipe inspired by Disney Parks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (14-ounce) can of dulce de leche
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine all-purpose flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to combine butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and continue mixing on medium, scraping sides occasionally, until fully combined.
Add flour mixture and mix on low until the dry dough starts to come together. Remove from the bowl and knead on a floured surface until the dough is soft.
Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles. Place on a prepared baking pan, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
Bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
Pour dulce de leche into a bowl or piping bag
Place half of the cookies, bottom side up, on a flat surface. Pipe or spoon dulce de leche onto each cookie. Top with remaining cookies.
Coat sides of cookies with shredded coconut and dust tops with powdered sugar.
These are decadent and sweet, and the powdered sugar looks absolutely elegant. It was the perfect addition to our cookie spread, but this is not the easiest or fastest recipe to execute.
According to my sister (s/o to Baker Emma), rolling out the cookies is super difficult and you need to knead it much longer than you think you do. She also recommends cutting the baking time that Disney suggests in half AT LEAST. The recipe calls for 10 minutes, and she baked them for 5 minutes and they were still browned.
My mom also thought to cover one cookie with dulce de leche and coconut, instead of making it into a sandwich, OR to dip a plain cookie in dulce de leche, since it's rather runny and slides off the very light and delicate cookie. Either way, your hands will be VERY STICKY from assembling them.
If you wanted to modify it further, you could easily substitute the dulce de leche with jam or Nutella for the filling. Both would work well as the cookie itself was like a British biscuit: very light with the flavor of shortbread but not nearly as heavy or rich. You could easily substitute the vanilla extract for almond if you enjoy that flavor too.
Lastly, her batch came out smaller than the Disney recipe. If you're going to bring them to a holiday party, we'd recommend making them smaller or doubling the recipe.