Alfajores (Caramel Cookies)
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.
Alfajores (Caramel 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
- 3/4 cup 60 g grated coconut must be grated because shredded is too large
- Confectioners’ sugar for serving
To make the cookies:
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C, 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.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. The cookies should be dry but not brown.
To make the dulce de leche:
- 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:
- When the cookies are cool, match them up into pairs of like sizes.
- 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.
- When ready to serve, sift a light layer of confectioners’ sugar over the tops of the cookies and place them on a platter.
Hope you enjoy this easy vegan recipe!
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