Alfajores, South American cookies for Christmas

Alfajores are popular cookies throughout South America. These cookies are as buttery and tender as shortbread, but more sweet with their filling of dulce de leche, Latin America’s beloved, caramelized goat milk spread. Roll them in unsweetened coconut for a festive appearance at Christmastime. In Mexico, dulce de leche is known as cajeta.

The twinkling stars designate holiday recipes. Feliz navidad!

Alfajores makes 12 cookies

  • 2 cups (8.6 oz./245 grams) sifted whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz./85 grams) corn starch
  • 6 tablespoons (1.5 oz./42 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz./230 grams) organic butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (236 ml.) cajeta
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz./42 grams) organic dry coconut
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. F. (180 C.)
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder and salt together.
  3. Blend dry ingredients with butter and vanilla in a food processor until a ball forms. Add a little milk if it is too dry to form a ball.
  4. Flatten dough slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out to 3/8″ thickness and cut into 2″ rounds with a cookie cutter.
  6. Carefully lift cookies and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and firm.
  8. Let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.
  9. When cool, spread cajeta on flat surface of half of cookies, then sandwich cookies together with remaining cookies. Spread thin layer of cajeta around edge of sandwiched cookies.
  10. Roll in dry coconut to coat cajeta.


Purchase cajeta (dulce de leche) at your local Hispanic grocery store, from the ethnic aisles of large supermarkets or on line from

More Cajeta Recipes:

Mexican Chocoflan, Pastel Imposible, the Impossible Chocolate Cake Cooking in Mexico

Crêpes with Cajeta and Chocolate Cooking in Mexico

More Reading:

How to Make Dulce de Leche David Lebovitz

All About Alfajores Wikipiedia

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10 thoughts on “Alfajores, South American cookies for Christmas

  1. Pingback: Mexican chocoflan, the impossible chocolate cake « Cooking in Mexico

  2. Pingback: Feliz Navidad! « Cooking in Mexico

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