Dulces: Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies)

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Dust off your cookie jar. [Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

My husband says alfajores are in Latin America's what the Oreo is in the U.S. The sandwich cookies are arguably as recognizable, but they've got a more elaborate history. Alfajor is a derivation of an Arabic word meaning "stuffed," as these treats are. Popular in Spain and in multiple Latin American countries, the alfajor was introduced—along with other foods and cultural elements—to the Iberian Peninsula during the centuries-long Moorish occupation that began in the 8th century.

Today, there are many different types of alfajores, with flavors, textures, coatings, and fillings all subject to regional influences, and of course, personal touches.

The alfajor I'm most acquainted with is from childhood trips to Buenos Aires; I've modeled the ones in the accompanying recipe on those shortbread rounds glued together with dulce de leche. The cookie is crumbly and tender, and the dulce de leche intense and sticky. Milk might be tempted to have a new favorite cookie.

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Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies) »

About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blog High Heels & Frijoles. Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite.

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