Friday, July 20, 2012

Alfajores: Traditional Peruvian Dessert

Finished and ready to serve!
I don't know about you but I am a big fan of trying new foods, especially those in the dessert category. Since I love trying new foods and I like to bake I recently had a get together with some of my Peruvian friends and they taught me how to bake some traditional Peruvian desserts. Today I am going to share with you how to make Alfajores which is two cookies sandwiched together with manjar blanco, a type of carmel sauce. If you are anything like me you prefer making everything from scratch so in this recipe I will provide two methods to make the manjar blanco, also known as dulce de leche, so that you too can prepare this dessert from scratch from start to finish.

In order to complete this recipe you will need a mixer, mixing bowl, cookie sheets, rolling pin, cooling racks, a round 2-inch cookie cutter, and the following ingredients: 

  • 1 stick of butter or margarine 
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 cups manjar blanco
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
First off mix together the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl until well mixed. While mixing these ingredients go ahead and turn the oven on to 350 degrees F (180 C) so that the oven can heat up. 
Next add in the egg and vanilla and mix till it is nice and smooth.
Continue by adding in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until the dough is nice and firm. Next form a ball with dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. To do this it is helpful to sprinkle flour on your surface you are rolling the dough on so that it does not get stuck. 
Use your cookie cutter to make your cookie cut outs and put them on your cookie sheets. Depending on whether your pan is non-stick or not you may need to spray it so that your cookies do not stick to the pan. Put the cookies in the oven and let them cook for about 12 minutes until they are nice and golden. Let the cookies sit for about two minutes after taking them out of the oven and then put them on cooling racks. 
Finally once the cookies have cooled apply a generous amount of manjar blanco to half of the cookies and sandwich them with another cookie. If you prefer you can wipe the edges of the cookies when they are done so they do not have any oozing carmel on the sides. To top off the cookie sprinkle powdered sugar over them and serve to your guests!

Manjar Blanco Recipe

There are three ways you can come about getting your manjar blanco for your alfajores: buy prepared manjar blanco (dulce de leche) at the store, prepare it in the oven with sweetened condensed milk, or prepare it on the stove with whole milk. Feel free to use whichever method you like depending on your time availability and your cooking skills. 

In order to prepare the manjar blanco with sweetened condensed milk take a look at this recipe and it gives the step by step process. All you will need is a can of sweetened condensed milk, a pie pan, tin foil, a larger pan that the pie pan will fit into, water, and the oven. 

To prepare the manjar blanco with whole milk on the stove follow this recipe and it will set you up to have a delicious carmel sauce! For this recipe you will need 1 liter of whole milk, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 shredded vanilla bean (or 1 tsp of vanilla), and 1 tbsp glucose. 

Overall I hope you enjoy this recipe and share it with your friends and family. If you have Facebook please join our page and share your experiences of preparing this recipe as well as others on this website. Please take photos of your cooking/baking experiences as well and share them on the Facebook page! Enjoy your baking! 


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