Alfajores (Caramel Cookies)

Alfajores (Caramel Cookies)
Prep Time : 2.5 hours  |  Cook Time : 45 minutes  |  Servings : 20 - 30 sandwiches

Thanks to Carolyn Scott-Hamilton of The Healthy Voyager series for sharing this super yummy vegan caramel cookie from Argentina with us! It’s from her new cookbook, The Healthy Voyager's Global Kitchen, which “veganizes” her favorite dishes from Europe, Asia, and South America.  Most of the recipes have gluten-free options as well!

Note: if you don’t like coconut, you can roll the cookies in chopped nuts instead. 


For Cookies:
3/4 cup (338 g) vegan butter
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar (or use 1 cup [120 g] confectioners' sugar for a fluffier cookie)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) soymilk
2 tablespoons (25 g) puréed silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 ml) brandy or cognac
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (128 g) cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

For Dulce de Leche:
1 1/2 cups (390 g) raw, unsalted almond butter
3/4 cup (255 g) brown rice syrup
1/2 cup (170 g) maple syrup or agave nectar or (115 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (32 g) soymilk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla powder or extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For serving:
3/4 cup (60 g) grated coconut
(must be grated because shredded is too large)
Confectioners' sugar, for serving


To make the cookies:
1. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy
and creamy. Add the milk and puréed tofu and mix. Add the
vanilla, brandy, and lemon zest; mix well and set aside. 

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch,
salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture
to the butter mixture and work together with your hands
until combined and soft. Do not add any extra flour. Cover
and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 

3. Preheat the oven to 325F (170C, or gas mark 3). Line
baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and keep half refrigerated. On a floured work surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (6 mm). Cut into 2-inch
(5 cm) rounds with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared
baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining half of the
cookie dough. 

4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. The cookies should be dry but not brown. 

To make the dulce de leche:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat until it the caramel starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. You may want to
prepare this in a double boiler so you lessen the chance of scorching the mixture. Remove from the heat and let cool and thicken before filling the cookie sandwiches. 

To assemble the cookies:
1. When the cookies are cool, match them up into pairs of like sizes. 

2. Turn one cookie over and spread a dollop of dulce de leche onto the flat part of the cookie (it is much easier to spread when the dulce is
warm). Place its partner on top (flat side down) and gently
press so that the caramel comes to the edges. Roll the
edges in the coconut and place on a rack to set. Repeat
with the remaining cookie pairs. 

3. When ready to serve, sift a light layer of confectioners' sugar over the tops of the cookies and place them on a platter. 

Que rico!

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