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Alfajores (sp?) ?

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I was at a street fair yesterday and amid all the same-old was a little stand selling alfajores (not sure I'm spelling this correctly). The lady said they are Argentinian. They were sort of cinnamon cake-type thing with a wonderful custard on the inside that was both vanilla-sweet and a little bit lemon-tart. They were about 3 inches across, round but flat (like a pancake but not nearly as thin).

Has anyone made these? It was so good -- I'd love to try to replicate it at home but I don't even know if I'm spelling the dish correctly!

Any information / help would be much appreciated.

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  1. whereabouts? in nyc? that would be pretty awesome, homemade alfajores? I've only had them in foil-wrapped packages (popular souvenir from all my latin friends when they head down "south").

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfajor

    always remind me of mallomars.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bigjeff

      Yes. The street fair was yesterday on Amsterdam between 96th & 106th. There were, as usual, lots of little Mexican stands; but this one was a stand making just the alfajores. I'm not sure it even said Argentinian on the sign -- just something like "sweet treat" or the like -- but the lady told me where they were from. And they were really wonderful.

      The cake-y part wasn't crunchy though. It was more cake-y soft. The device that they had to cook them with was pretty interesting -- a really large, maybe 2 foot diameter, thing that I think floated (maybe on boiling water?) that was in a larger drum-like round thing. The floating part had indentations, like you would put an egg or a rounder-cupcake hole or something. They spooned batter into it, then filling, then more batter.

      1. re: bigjeff

        Just to add ... they were cooking right there on the spot. So they were piping hot. The lady warned me to be careful as the filling was burn-your-mouth hot (and it was indeed). My only regret was that I only bought one (it was 1 for $3 or 2 for $5).

      2. Hi there! I am an Argy living in the UK so the sole mention of alfajores makes me drool and daydream! I will make them one of these days when we've got guests as it's dangerous to have them lying around otherwise!

        The most traditional ones are: alfajores de maizena (cornstarch cookies filled with dulce de leche covered in shredded coconut). Here are two recipes I found for them in English:

        http://www.fromargentinawithlove.type...

        http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/de...

        And the much-beloved Havanna alfajores, covered in chocolate:
        http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe... (Havanna style

        )

        We also have regional ones, filled with different jams and with various cookies so if you're interested, I'll find you some more recipes. Yum!

        1. We have an Argentinean bakery here in Houston, Manena's, that makes several different types of alfajores (in addition to dozens of other Argentinean pastries and facturas). My favorites are the ones that are dipped in dark chocolate. Oh so good.

          Here's a great recipe/photo spread from Recipe Girl for alfajores:

          http://www.recipegirl.com/2009/03/30/...

          Give them a whirl! :)

          1. I just made alfajores for a Latin themed bake sale at my son's school. Basically, it is a shortbread recipe where you use a round cookie cutter, bake the cookies and then sandwich with dulce de leche. I did not have time to make my own dulce de leche, but I was able to purchase some jarred dulce de leche, and I used that. Then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and you're done. Quite simple, really. What happens is that the longer the alfajores sit, the softer and more cake-like the shortbread becomes since it absorbes liquid from the dulce de leche. Many recipes suggest that if you like the cookies more crunchy, you wait to sandwich them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              Aah. Thanks for the info re: the more cakey-kind. It's interesting that all the links posted above show a more thin-type crunchy cookie outside but the one I had was definitely cake-y soft. And they were being made fresh (I describe it above). To me it seemed almost like a cross between a cake and a pancake.

              Thanks to all for posting recipe links. I might give these a try. But as Paula76 says, it might be dangerous to have a whole batch lying around!! :)

            2. We used to make alfajores in Spanish class in H.S. especially for Fiesta-Soirre, the foreign language (Spanish and French) festival. We used what was more or less a sugar cookie recipe (if I remember correctly, it was many years ago). Back then we couldn't get dulce de leche in small town midwest so we made it from sweetened condensed milk. Depending on where you are you can probably buy dulce de leche in the stores.