Creamy, sweet Manjar Blanco embedded in two almost powdery cookies, that is a traditional, absolutely delicious and addicting Peruvian Alfajor - one of the most popular sweet sensations in the country.
Alfajores are most probably an adaptation of the Arabic confection "alajú" that for centuries is made in some regions of Spain and came to Latin America with the Spanish conquerors. So throughout Central and South America different versions of Alfajores with numerous fillings can be found.
In Peru the traditional Alfajor consists of two fine, crumbly almost powdery, pale cookies made of flour, cornstarch, butter and powdered sugar that are filled with Manjar Blanco, a sweat, caramel-like, sticky reduction of whole milk and sugar.
Alfajores are a delicious little goodie for in between, perfect on the coffee table, great as special treat on a buffet or a good way to end a Peruvian dinner.
Making Alfajores at home is really super simple though a little time consuming. The key to an exceptional Alfafor is using a good Manjar Blanco for the filling. Contrary to common belief Peruvian Manjar Blanco usually isn’t Dulce de Leche. Most types of Dulce de Leche are a reduction of (sweetened) condensed milk while Manjar Blanco is made by reducing sugared whole milk to a thick and creamy caramel-like paste – the ingredients might be similar, the taste and texture however is quite different.
So, if you prepare Alfajores at home either get ready-made original Peruvian Manjar Blanco which is available in Latin American (online) food stores and even on Amazon or prepare it on your own. While being a slow and long process, it isn’t difficult at all and once the first home-made Alfajor melts in your mouth worth every single minute.
Find below my favorite, really easy recipe for Peruvian Alfajores including instructions on how to make Manjar Blanco.