Friday, 2 April 2010

Alfajores de Maizena (Gluten Free)

Alfajores de Maizena are small soft shortbread type cookies which are joined together with "dulce de leche" (thick caramel). Their sides are covered in dessicated coconut.
These are a favourite snack in Uruguay, Argentina & Chile. Some of the ones you can buy ready made, are covered in chocolate. The ones made in Chile have a much harder cookie, but are still assembled the same way.
Maizena is cornflour, and the main ingredient in this recipe.

I just love these!!
I saw some at my mum's yesterday but because of their wheat content I was not able to eat them. They have a small amount of wheat flour in them.
So I went shopping and bought 100% corn cornflour, I found a recipe which I converted into gluten free by replacing the wheat flour with rice flour and potato flour. I also replaced the cognac and lemon rind.
Now I can eat these to my heat's content (although in reality my heart would be much happier if I were eating broccoli instead!!)

200gms low salt margarine (you can use softened unsalted butter)
150gms caster sugar (superfine sugar)
3 egg yolks
300gms pure cornflour
125gms rice flour
75gms potato flour
2tsp gluten free baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp lemon extract

To assemble
200gms dulce de leche (Nestle Top'n'Fill works really well)
80gms dessicated coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees celcius (fan forced)
  2. Sift flours and baking powder together, set aside.
  3. Cream margarine, sugar, extracts and yolks with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients until it all comes together.
  5. Place dough on a large piece of baking paper, and knead lightly.
  6. Roll dough out to about 1/2 a cm between two pieces of baking paper.
  7. Remove top sheet of baking paper, and cut with a round cutter.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2 cms apart from eachother, and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  10. Place enough caramel on the bottom of a cookie to cover it, and gently press another cookie to it so that some caramel comes out of the sides.
  11. Spread the squeezed out caramel all over the sides of the cookies, and then roll that part through the dessicated coconut.
  12. Eat accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee. YUM!!!


Erin Jackson said...

Sorry for being naive, but I was wondering if you are in the UK? I wanted to try alfajores so badly in Argentina last year but am gluten free. I wanted to use your recipe but wasn't sure if your "corn flour" is what we call corn starch in the states or is in fact corn flour? Thanks!

Natalia said...

Yup it's the same thing. Take a look see here ;)