Los Alfajores de la Tia Lorena – Cornstarch and Dulce de Leche Cookies

By |March 23rd, 2011|

Among our circle of close friends and family in Ecuador, it was Tia Lorena whom you called when you needed Christmas decorations, wedding decorations, birthday party decorations…  You get my drift.  The woman does wonders with her hands, a glue gun and ribbons.  Tia Lorena is an expert in manualidades.  Rounding her creativity was her knack for baking.  For as long as I can remember, my aunt was not a very good cook (and she’ll admit to this), but MY GOSH can she bake!  She can whip up desserts that will knock your socks off!  Alfajores is one of them.

Alfajores are white, cake-like cookies filled with dulce de leche.  And in case you didn’t know, dulce de leche is the most awesome thing ever. Between dulce de leche and Nutella, I find it tough to chose which one I want to be buried with when I die.  See my previous post for the Dulce de Leche recipe.

In South America, everyone and their mother claims alfajores as their own.  And hereby I declare that alfajores are  a typical Ecuadorean cookie.  THERE!  YOU HEARD ME!  Now, I believe in Argentina (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), the alfajores’ edges are covered in dried coconut.  I don’t remember eating them this way, but then again, there are many things I don’t remember.  I’ve eaten other versions that have almond meal in them, which makes them more like sandtarts.  This version I am sharing with you is what I remember eating growing up: delicate, cake-like, soft, scrumptious, heaven…

My aunt’s alfajores recipe is in grams, but I also offered the conversion in cups.  If you have a kitchen scale (I don’t but I am considering one), I recommend sticking with grams.  Let me know which method you used, and email me if you are stuck or have any questions.

Another thing you will need when making alfajores: cognac.  I know.  I had you at cognac.  Every time I think of cognac, I think of Curvoisier.  And every time I think of Courvoisier, I think of this guy:

He likes cognac, thus he probably likes alfajores

In order to keep recalling scenes from The Ladies Man and giggling uncontrollably while spilling cornstarch everywhere, I asked El Señor Hubs to buy me some Hennessy instead.  It doesn’t matter what you get.  The point is: you need cognac.  You might as well pour yourself a glass while you’re at it.


Dulce de Leche

By |February 9th, 2011|

Dulce de leche is nothing more than boiled down condensed milk, and my GAWD it’s the most heavenly thing ever!  You can use it to top just about anything imaginable: spread it on a piece of bread, top a scoop of ice cream with it, top your pancakes with it.  You could probably take a day off work to come up with multiple uses for dulce de leche.


Bizcochuelo de Tres Leches: Three Milks Cake

By |December 7th, 2009|

I finally got around making one of my favorite desserts of all times – Bizcochuelo (bees-coh-CHOOEH-loh) de Tres Leches, or cake with three milks sauce, or Three milks cake.  Dulce de Tres Leches is a very popular dessert throughout Latin America, and in Ecuador it is as popular and traditional as Arroz con […]

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Tarta de Maduro: Sweet Plaintain Pie

By |October 30th, 2009|

Our local supermarket tends to have decent deals on plaintains – 6 for $1.99. I usually buy too many – 4 this time – and they start to ripen very quickly. When I had this happen last time, I made Chucula, and I made it in a pudding-like consistency rather than traditionally smooth […]

Chucula: Ecuadorean Sweet Plantain Puddin

By |October 18th, 2009|

Chucula (choo-COO-lah) is an Ecuadorean dessert made using sweet plantains. Traditionally chucula has the consistency of a banana smoothie and it is drunk cold. I remember having it more in the consistency of a pudding, and I ate it warm. If you like to have it the traditional way, double the […]

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