By LeAnne Shor
This recipe originally appeared in The Nosher.
Bringing new life to hamantaschen was a challenge. People are dead set on their favorite flavors like classic poppy seed and apricot. Of course, newer directions such as Nutella and rainbow funfetti are a big hit with the kids, but reinventing the grown-up hamantaschen into a decadent cookie you actually crave was very important to me. Then it hit me: alfajores!
Alfajores are an incredibly decadent sandwich cookie filled with dulce de leche, a caramel-like spread made from condensed milk.
The cookies have a complex history. Most people associate alfajores with Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, but they were brought to the New World by the Spanish in the 16th century. Before that, itís said that the cookies were actually an Arab import when Spain was largely under Arab control in the 14th and 15th centuries.
I was introduced to the famous South American cookie at the well-known Israeli cafe chain Aroma in New York City. Alfajores are actually extremely popular in Israel today, much more so than in the States. It was love at first bite. Cornstarch and extra egg yolks give the cookies a very light, crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. Then, slowly cooked dulce de leche is sandwiched between. The cookies are usually rolled in lightly toasted coconut and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Translating all of these elements into our beloved traditional hamantaschen was a no brainer, and made for the most popular hamantaschen in my house to date! Making your own dulce de leche filling is actually incredibly easy, but if you can find it at your grocery store, feel free to use it here.
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