Alfajores Are A Tea Time Tradition
With the ski season right around the corner, we’re dreaming of welcoming all of our beloved guests not just to our ski slopes, but to our dining room as well. One of the things we cherish most about our winters in Portillo is the family style meals where everyone from the Purcell family to a first-time visitor is welcomed by our long-time maitre d’, Juan, and sat with friends as well as strangers soon to be friends.
One of our favorite traditions in the dining room is not one of the three standard meals — although breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all special in their own way — but the traditional fourth seating between lunch and dinner of tea time. The tradition of tea time or “once” in Portillo is as old as the resort itself. Apres ski time is a time to refuel and share stories of the day.
With the tea or coffee come some of the tastiest pastries, treats, and snacks all hand-crafted by Rafael and his team. One of the longest standing snacks is the traditional Alfajores. Alfajores are found all through South American and Spain and consist of two cookies sandwiching dulce de leche and coated in chocolate. If you’ve had Alfajores elsewhere, you may have seen them left uncoated, or with other fillings, but here in Portillo, we think we’ve perfected them and would love to share the recipe with you.
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2.5 cups cornstarch
7 oz butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 oz chocolate coating
3 egg yolks
1 can of dulce de leche, at room temperature
In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and cornstarch. In another bowl, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until pale and creamy.
Stir the dry ingredients little by little into the mixture forming a compact and uniform dough. Place on a floured board and knead, until smooth. Roll out until the dough is thin, about 5 millimeters, approximately.
Cut circles with a medium pasta cutter. Prick the dough pieces with a fork and put in a 350-degree oven, for twelve minutes. Once they are ready, remove and let cool.
Over each piece, drop a portion of dulce de leche, and cover with another. If you wish, you may dip the alfajores in chocolate. In this case, melt bar chocolate in a double boiler, stir until liquid and cover the alfajores.