alfajores de maizena

“In Chile we always have tea in the evenings before dinner, alfajores are like scones for us. Alfajor de mizena are a favorite for many in South America. I have friends from Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay & Paraguay and we all eat them”, recalled Marcela.

For Marcela Donoso-Tombley, few things say home more than alfajor de maizena. Marcela was born in Chile, and grew up watching her grandmother making these cookies. She especially recalls her grandmother making the dulce de leche filling in a pressure cooker from condensed milk.

Marcela has translated her grandmother’s recipe for you to enjoy.


1¼ cup Maizena (corn starch)
½ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking power
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can of dulce de leche
pinch of salt

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange zest.

Sift together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating until thoroughly combined.

Drop the batter by small spoonfuls onto well buttered baking sheets. Leave enough space between the cookies because they will spread. You can also roll the dough and treat as cut-out cookies. My mom makes them like that, but I am too lazy to roll them 😉 If you chose to roll them, then they should be about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and let cool.

When cool, spread dulce de leche on the bottom of a cookie and top with another cookie to form a “sandwich”. Squeeze them slightly so some of the dulce de leche is squeezed out the sides. You can roll the side in grated coconut or shaved chocolate, if desired.

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