Alforjores a.k.a Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

My friend Marina, a talented Chef and Baker, introduced me to ALFORJORES a few years ago...they are melt-in-your-mouth Argentinian sandwich cookies. THE MOST SPECIAL COOKIES EVER. I tried hers and I was hooked. They are simple to make, and a show-stopping dessert. And, while you can easily make your dulce de leche in a crockpot, it takes 11 hours and there are amazing choices already made, including  Nestlé La Lechera "The Original." You can dress them up and enrobe them in chocolate, or roll the rim in shredded coconut, but I prefer them just dusted with powdered sugar, like the first time I had one of Marina's delectable cookies. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do. I am usually too impatient to sift, but it is a MUST in this recipe. I made these for a Christmas Cookie exchange this weekend and they were a huge hit, although I do need to practice more....
(WARNING: these are may wish to double, even triple this recipe...a few of mine went missing before they made it to the party :)
Makes 2 dozen small sandwich cookies (no need to make these big since they pack a huge punch of flavor)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I am obsessed; but you can substitute regular pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup (1 can) dulce de leche (I love Nestlé La Lechera "The Original")
  • Preheat Oven 350 (325 for convection)
  • Sift dry ingredients, except for the white sugar.
  • Beat butter in a mixer with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  • Add white sugar & vanilla bean paste.
  • Add flour mixture to butter, only a third at a time, until dough forms.
  • Place on parchment and roll dough into a ball; cut into 2 pieces.
  • Roll each into an 8" log; wrap with saran wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut into 1/4" slices, place on parchment on cookie sheets or jelly roll pan.
  • Bake approx 10 minutes until the sides begin to brown and cookie is a little firm.
  • Let cool on sheet a few minutes; remove and place on a rack for 30 minutes.
  • Place duce de leche into a plastic bag or pastry bag and pipe a dollop (about 2 tsp) on the inside (bottom) of half of the cookies. Place a top cookie (try to match the sizes) on top. You don't even need a tip!
  • Dust each with confectioners' sugar.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
If you wish, you can melt bittersweet chocolate and pour a generous amount over the top and dip the bottom also into the chocolate until the entire alfajores is enrobed in chocolate. Set on parchment to dry. You may also roll the edges of dulce de leche in coconut.