These cookies are a favorite in many South American countries such as Chile, Peru and Uruguay, and particularly in Argentina. Traditional versions consist of two cookies sandwiching a layer of the caramel-like mixture known as dulce de leche. The cookie can be made from wheat flour, corn flour, cornstarch or chuño mixed with sugar, butter (or shortening) and a variety of other flavorings including peanuts, lemon zest and/or various nuts. Alfajores come plain or covered with a variety of coatings such as frosting, chocolate, powdered sugar or coconut. Besides dulce de leche, they may also be filled with fruit jams or pastes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.