The Vegan Baker: Alfajores (shortbread)Home » Blog » Miyuki McGuffie » The Vegan Baker: Alfajores (shortbread)
This week blogger-baker Miyuki McGuffie brings us a recipe for a South American cookie made of two sweet biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche (caramel sauce). Yumbo!
Alfajores (alf-a-hore-es) are a South American cookie made of two sweet biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche (caramel sauce). Originally an Arabic treat, although nothing like the South American version, the inspiration for this recipe actually came from a lapse in vegan resolve on my part.
After seeing the cookies week after week in my friend’s fridge, I gave in to temptation and tried one. I’m glad I did though! Otherwise I wouldn’t have known how yummy alfajores are and I wouldn’t have thought to veganise them.
Dulce de leche is a Spanish caramel sauce made with milk and sugar. It can also be used as a caramel topping for ice cream or to flavour your coffee—so save any leftovers you end up with! Store in the fridge and heat before using as it’s easier to deal with when warm.
The dulce de leche recipe used here comes from The Innocent Primate. I used a basic shortbread recipe with a few little tweaks to make the biscuits, which you can also eat on their own. You can use an electric beater for the shortbread, or do it by hand. I’ve tried both and there’s no difference in the final result.
My friends and fellow alfajore fans liked these cookies. One even said she liked them better than the regular kind!
- 150g non-dairy margarine, softened
- 1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons 'milk' (I used soy)
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
Beat margarine and sugar together until pale and creamy, about eight minutes or so. Add the vanilla and 'milk', and beat to combine.
Sift the flours together and add to the batter. Beat until a smooth dough forms.
Divide the dough into two portions and roll each into a log about 20cms long. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Slice the dough into pieces 1cm thick, or slightly thinner if using for alfajores.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Dulce de Leche
- ½ cup 'milk' (I used soy)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour, sifted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy margarine
- 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup (available at natural food stores)
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
In a small saucepan whisk together the milk and corn flour. Add the sugar, stir to combine.
Add the margarine and brown rice syrup then cook gently over a medium heat.
Adjust the stove temperature if necessary to keep the sauce at a simmer (as opposed to a boil) and keep stirring.
After 15 minutes, add the icing sugar and salt.
Keep simmering and stirring for another 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. The sauce is done when a spoonful dropped on baking paper holds together.
Spread the dulce de leche on one shortbread, about 4mm thick (or to your liking). Pop another shortbread on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Eat and enjoy!