Alfajores are a popular South American treat, but they actually originated in the Middle East and were called "alajú" which was Arabic for "stuffed" or "filled". Originally they were dough rolls filled with fruit preserves, and when the Moors traveled west to occupy Spain, they took them with them. The Spanish then made them their own and and covered the filled cylindrical cookies with nuts or powdered sugar. When the Spanish migrated to South America, they brought them there and each country has made their own versions since!
Our recipe is based off one of the most common variations globally which hails from Argentina. "Alfajor" translates to "caramel cookie" which is exactly what it is filled with! Dulce de leche is a milk-based caramel popular in South America that is as rich and creamy as it is delicious, and it's sandwiched between two shortbread-like biscuits.
Popular coatings for the outside of the alfajores include coconut, powdered sugar, and all kinds of chocolate! We think they're even delicious without anything on the outside, but if you had to make us pick.. we're partial to chocolate!
In Argentina, you can find variations of alfajores that have chocolate cookies, brownie-like cookies, and pretty much everything in between, sold on literally every street corner. Our favorite thing to do was find the little shops that made them fresh daily, and boy would they melt in your mouth! Like most delicious treats, they are typically made with a wheat-based flour so we knew we had to make our own version since they are a cookie everyone should be able to enjoy. Whether you are gluten-free or not, you'll love these delectable caramel cookie sandwiches with as much or as little chocolate on the outside as you want!