Chocolate Coconut Alfajores

A Latin American favorite, alfajores feature a thick layer of dulce de leche sandwiched between two crumbly butter cookies sprinkled with coconut flakes. A final coat of dark chocolate makes these cookies even more decadent than the classic. Thanks to the cornstarch, these are especially tender and will melt in your mouth.

Chocolate Coconut Alfajores
 
Makes 25
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (40 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract ⅔ cup (200 grams) dulce de leche
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup (56 grams) desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks and vanilla, and pulse until mixture comes together and a dough forms. Divide dough in half.
  2. On a work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll each portion of dough into a log, about 2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut logs into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place about 1 inch apart on prepared pans.
  5. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely on pans.
  6. Place dulce de leche in a piping bag fitted with a small, plain round piping tip. Pipe a small round of dulce de leche onto half of cookies. Place remaining cookies on top of dulce de leche, gently pressing together until dulce de leche just reaches edges of cookie. Refrigerate cookies while preparing chocolate.
  7. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate on high in 15- to 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until almost fully melted but some small pieces remain visible. Remove bowl from microwave, and stir vigorously until fully melted. (This is the simplest method of tempering chocolate and needs no thermometer.)
  8. Dip cookies halfway into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place on a sheet of parchment paper, and sprinkle coconut over melted chocolate while still warm. Let stand until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but cookies will soften over time.

 

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