Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sweet & Salty Sunday: Dark Chocolate Pecan Alfajores

Dulce de Leche is probably the best creation on the planet...

and sometimes I have serious cravings for this popular South American treat. Conveniently, one of these cravings happened right when I needed to come up with a recipe for the CIA's Godiva Chocolate Extrodinaire Scholarship. So naturally, I followed my instincts!

For those of you who have never had dulce de leche, it is definitely worth a try. 
This caramel-esque confection is made from slowly simmering sweetened condensed milk over medium heat until it reaches a golden, syrupy consistancy. 
You could also make it by simmering the actual can of sweetened condensed milk, but some worry that this is a more dangerous method. Probably the best method can be found here, and requires very little work! 

Dulce de Leche is the star in the Alfajor, which is another traditional South American treat, but in the form of a sandwich cookie. 
The "sandwich" consists of two shortbread cookies that hold together the Dulce de Leche, and then the entire thing either gets dusted with confectioner's sugar, rolled in coconut, or dipped in chocolate.

I chose to put a little spin on this cookie, just to make things interesting. 

First, I added some extra dark Godiva Santo Domingo chocolate to the Dulce de Leche

Second, I changed the typical shortbread to a Pecan Sable Breton (which is a sweet and salty take on a shortbread cookie). 

For the garnish, I kept two of the traditional methods, but decided to blend the two. I first dipped half of the cookie in chocolate, and then rolled the edges in coconut. 

After several hours of recipe testing, I was pretty impressed with myself upon the first bite of the finished product. 

I also created a white chocolate and honey version, and was equally as pleased (which proves that this recipe is pretty versatile, and you should try out different fillings... maybe a jam might be tasty?).


Dark Chocolate Pecan Alfajores

Yield: 24 Sandwich Cookies
Sweet & Salty Pecan Sable

2 1/3 C All Purpose Flour             
1 Tbsp  Baking Powder               
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter               
3/4 plus 2 Tbsp Sugar                            
1 tsp. Salt                              
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract             
5 Egg Yolks                   
1/2 c Pecans, toasted and chopped

1.                Preheat the oven to 325°F
2.                Sift together the All Purpose Flour and Baking Powder; set aside.
3.                In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the Unsalted Butter, Sugar, and Salt at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4.                Add the Vanilla Extract and Egg Yolks in three to four parts, stopping the mixer each time to scrape the bowl down.
5.                Once all of the egg and vanilla is added, remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the All Purpose Flour and Baking Powder by hand, using a rubber spatula. Be sure not to over-work the dough.
6.                Add finely-chopped Pecans and mix until dough is just combined.
7.                Divide the dough in half and roll each into a log between 1 ½ and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.
8.                Once dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and set out a 12-cup muffin tin. Slice dough into 1/3-1/2 inch pieces, placing one in each cup of the muffin tin.
9.                Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will appear firm and slightly puffed, but with no brown color whatsoever.
10.             Remove finished cookies from the muffin tin to cool.

Godiva 85% Extra Dark Santo Domingo Dulce De Leche

14 ounces Dulce de Leche                                         
3.5 ounces Godiva 85% Extra Dark Santo Domingo Chocolate, chopped

1.             Place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water
2.             Add the chopped Godiva Santo Domingo Chocolate and stir until completely melted
3.             Remove the bowl from the heat and incorporate the Dulce de Leche           
4.             Set aside until cookies are baked and cooled.

12 ounces Godiva 78% Dark Chocolate, chopped          
4 ounces Vegetable Oil                                                     
2 cups Shredded Coconut                                               

1.             Place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water
2.             Add the chopped Godiva 78% Dark Chocolate and stir until completely   melted
3.             Remove the bowl from the heat and add the vegetable oil, stirring to incorporate
4.             Place the coconut in a shallow dish and set aside, along with the chocolate


1.       Place a spoonful of the Godiva Santo Domingo Dulce de Leche between two Pecan Sable cookies, making a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
2.       Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Dip each sandwich halfway into the Godiva 78% Dark Chocolate and oil mixture. Roll the rounded edge, which is covered in chocolate into the coconut, so it will stick.
3.       Place each cookie on the lined sheet tray.
4.       Refrigerate until set. Enjoy!

I hope this recipe inspires you to try something new (especially if it's Dulce de Leche!!!).

Stay hungry and curious,

Blayre :)


  1. I hope you are planning on making some of these for us soon =) Actually the recipe doesn't look all that complicated...I may even try it!

  2. They are! And you can play around with them, that's the best part about it :))

    I'll make something yummy for you soon :)