Les Petits Chefs make alfajores with Chef Rossy Earle

One group of Petits Chefs have already had the pleasure of working with Chef Rossy Earle (and they made empanadas and Panamanian milk candies) so I was thrilled when Rossy agreed to come back to share a little bit of Panama with the new group of Petits Chefs.  Born & raised in Panama City, Panama, Rossy prides herself in infusing Latin American flavours into whatever she creates, making it her goal to merge some of her roots into Canadian food culture. Currently a freelance Chef in Toronto, Rossy is working on on developing her website and a line of bottled specialty products – Neil and I were the very fortunate recipients of Rossy’s first product – her hotly anticipated “Salsa de Fuego” hot sauce. We can’t wait to try it!  You can read a wonderful profile of Rossy over at Edible Toronto.

This week, Rossy chose to make alfajores with the boys.  “Alfa-what?” was the response earlier in the day when I told the boys what we were making. Confusion turned into delight when I explained that alfajores are sweet, shortbread-like cookies joined together with dulce de leche or jam and covered with powdered sugar.  The boys were thrilled as I generally don’t choose sweet treats but since we’re so close to Christmas, I figured it was a great way to keep little hands busy on a rainy Monday afternoon!

Rossy normally uses a stand mixer for this dough as it can be very very stiff and hard to manipulate with a hand mixer but the boys soldiered on and did a great job until the mixers would mix no longer…

I was impressed to see how well the boys worked with rolling the dough – such precision and care! Rossy brought some pre-made dough with her so that it could be rolled out immediately whilst the dough we made during the club was carefully packaged up for the boys to take home and make some more cookies on their own!

Look at how well they eeked out every last little bit of dough!

And before and after the oven….

The boys’ cookies were too hot to fill (so they all left with Ziploc baggies of Rossy’s homemade dulce de leche – lucky lucky little boys!) but we took one and showed the boys how to pipe the filling and make the sandwich and coat with powdered sugar. Perfect!

I heard rave reviews about the cookies and the dulce de leche from the boys – and some of them even filled their cookies with Nutella, peanut butter and various jams – and I am confident that some of the guys will be making these at home over the holidays too!


Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Sweet shortbread-like cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche.


  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 7 oz (200 gr) butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 jar of Cajeta or Dulce de Leche
  • Fine shredded coconut
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In a mixer, whip butter, sugar & yolks until creamy then add vanilla & lemon zest.
  3. Add to dry mix, crumbling till combined. Make into a ball, refrigerate 30-60 min.
  4. Roll dough onto floured surface to ½ cm & cut with round cutter. Bake 15-20 min at 350˚F
  5. Check after 10 min. Bottom should be a light golden colour, top should be pale. Cool on rack.
  6. Spread flat side of one cookie with dulce de leche, use another cookie to make a sandwich.
  7. Roll edges on coconut then dust with icing sugar on top.


Thanks so much Rossy for taking time out of your super busy schedule this holiday season to share some of your wonderful traditions with the boys – we so appreciate it!

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28 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make alfajores with Chef Rossy Earle

  1. Liz November 30, 2011 at 06:17 #

    Oh, my, no wonder there were raves!!!! These look fabulous, especially with the dripping dulce de leches..mmmmmmmmm.

  2. Belinda @zomppa November 30, 2011 at 08:14 #

    I love alfajores…hmm…that sweetness is just oozing goodness!

  3. Kablooey November 30, 2011 at 08:27 #

    Which little genius filled his cookies with Nutella?! Inspired. That’s my boy! Mardi, what a great step by step post. It felt like I was there.

  4. Paula November 30, 2011 at 09:02 #

    I have to admit, I was like your Petits Chefs when I saw your tweet that they would be making these with Chef Rossy…*alfa what?*

    You can imagine my delight when I arrived here to see that alfajores are a shortbread-like cookie! Almost squeeled when I saw the first picture of one filled with Dulce de Leche.

    Les Petits Chefs are great little cookie dough rollers and very creative alfajores fillers! Must have been a fun class but then again, I tend to think they very much enjoy all of their cooking classes.

    P.S. The *homework* assignments are fantastic 🙂

  5. Kiri W. November 30, 2011 at 09:29 #

    oooh, I remember these from a Latin bakery I once visited. So delicious! Thanks a ton for the recipe, I’ll have to make them this holiday season!

  6. Joy November 30, 2011 at 09:29 #

    This looks so good. Love dulce de leche.

  7. Sandi November 30, 2011 at 11:11 #

    In the kitchen with Rossy making cookies!
    What a treat!
    The story and the pictures make it like you’re in the kitchen as well.
    The only thing missing is the audio track of laughter.
    Absolutely wonderful.

  8. Lindsey@Lindselicious November 30, 2011 at 11:35 #

    My friend and I were just saying we need to get together to make alfajores again!! Love these cookies- became obssesed with them when I was in Argentina. Have you had the lemon filling ones? To DIE!! Yours look amazing!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 11, 2011 at 18:26 #

      Oh no – but now I think I need to try those lemon filled ones – I can imagine they are delicious!

  9. Daydreamer Desserts November 30, 2011 at 17:59 #

    Alfajores have been on my list of cookies to make for a *very* long time now. I think this is a sign I need to get them crossed off the list soon! Thank you, Chef Rossy, & Les Petits Chefs for the inspiration.

  10. Cucina49 November 30, 2011 at 19:28 #

    I made these a million years ago for Spanish class, and had forgotten how good they were. Thanks for posting this and sending some buzz!

  11. Geoff November 30, 2011 at 21:48 #

    But how does a dumb Aussie pronounce alfajores?
    And, sorry for being such a bonehead but dulce de leche is what exactly?
    Whatever… lucky boys.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 30, 2011 at 21:50 #

      Oh Dad…. alfa -hor -es. And dulce de leche is caramel, basically! And yes the boys are lucky!

  12. Pauline December 5, 2011 at 15:55 #

    These are on my list too, lucky chaps. It’s the caramel, sweet but addictive 🙂

  13. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 7, 2011 at 14:46 #

    I just love seeing what your chefs are up to. These cookies look fabulous… I cannot get enough dulce de leche!

  14. penny aka jeroxie December 11, 2011 at 07:39 #

    ermm… your boys making baking easy 😐 I have to catch up!

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