The Alfajor, an Irresistible Treat from Chile and South America

Alfajores are a sweet sandwich cookie featuring a layer of dulce de leche or milk jam, in the middle of two sweet biscuits and coated with chocolate or sprinkled with coconut or powdered sugar. These sweet confections can be found throughout Latin America. 

The word alfajor stems from the Arabic al-hasú, which means filled or stuffed. Alfajores are popular in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, although they can be found throughout “South America”. The classic alfajor is made out of dough containing flour, butter and eggs. After baking, two round cookies are sandwiched together with a dollop of dulce de leche and drenched in sugar. 

Cornstarch isn’t an ingredient that many bakers get excited about, but it has a magical effect on the alfajor. With almost equal parts cornstarch to butter, sugar and flour, the easy-to-work dough creates a cookie that’s crumbly and tender. On its own the cookie might not be much to write home about, but when filled with dulce de leche they are elevated to a whole new realm. A buttery, crisp cookie — desired in so many other situations — can struggle against the dulce de leche, breaking apart or just tasting too heavy. But the cornstarch-based ones — known as Alfajores de Maizena — are light when the dulce de leche is dense, crumble when the the dulce de leche is sticky; the cookies are basically the ying to the milk caramel’s yang.

At Bacán you can get cornstarch alfajores and chocolate alfajores covered in chocolate, and they are one of our customers’ favorites, to share or just to sweeten your day with a delicious cup of coffee.