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 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.
These sweet cookies can be traced to Andalusia, Spain, during the occupation by the Moors. Spanish culinary experts note the similarity between the alfajor and the mamoul, a buttery confection containing a paste of dates sprinkled with powdered sugar and found throughout North Africa and the Middle East.
Alfajores are popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, although they can be found throughout South America. Although they originated in the Iberian peninsula, the Spanish alfajor is quite different from its South American counterpart, which consists of honey, flour and almonds.
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.
Alfajores can be filled with a combination of dulce de leche and chocolate mousse, fruit, and cream. They are often topped with a meringue coating, milk chocolate, coconut or a sugar glaze.