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Alfajores payes

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish biscuit recipe for alfajores payes (chocolate and dulce de leche cookies).

By Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 50 mins cooking plus cooling, resting, setting
  • Serves 15
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Alfajores payes
Alfajores are shortbread biscuits that are either dusted with icing sugar, or filled with dulce de leche, then stacked and coated in chocolate or white icing. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour, sieved
  • 40 gm (¼ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 250 gm cold unsalted butter, diced
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400 gm tempered melted dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), to coat (see note)
Dulce de leche
  • 395 gm canned sweetened condensed milk, unopened


  • 1
    For dulce de leche, place can of condensed milk in a large saucepan, cover with water. Bring to the simmer over medium-high heat, then cook, covered with a weighted lid, over low heat for 3½ hours. Do not uncover or touch can while it cooks as it may burst. Turn off heat, cool completely in liquid before removing can and opening (1-2 hours; do not open can until completely cold). Transfer caramel to a bowl, add ½ tsp sea salt, stir to combine. Set aside. Dulce de leche will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, indefinitely.
  • 2
    Process flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and ¼ tsp fine salt in a food processor until a dough forms, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest and firm (20-30 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Roll dough to 5mm thick on a lightly floured work surface, then cut into rounds using a 6.5cm-diameter cutter (re-roll scraps). Transfer to baking trays lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until chilled (20-30 minutes). Bake until golden (15-20 minutes), cool for 5 minutes on tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 4
    Spread half of the alfajores with dulce de leche and top with remaining biscuits, then stand on a wire rack lined with baking paper. Brush one half and sides of each with chocolate and stand at room temperature until set (overnight), then turn and brush remaining half and stand until chocolate is set (1-2 hours). Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for four days.


Note For tips on tempering chocolate, see our chocolate tempering masterclass.

  • undefined: Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby