Upon my early morning arrival the first time I visited Buenos Aires, I begged my sister to take me to a decent cafeteria, where I immediately ordered a cortado. Along with the espresso came a small but delicious sandwich cookie. My sister explained that this cookie, the "alpha whore," was as ubiquitous in South America as chocolate chip cookies are in the US. While the name made me laugh, the subtle butter taste highlighted with the creamy caramel filling made me hungry for more. However, you don't have to travel south of the equator to enjoy these delightful cookies. To whip up a batch — they make excellent gifts and pair nicely with coffee —

From Diana's Desserts

For the Dulce de Leche Filling:
2 cups milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 stick (1 oz/28g) unsalted butter
For the Cookie Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 stick (2 oz/56g) butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few drops of rum (optional)
Pinch of grated lemon peel (optional)
For Garnish: (optional)
Confectioners' sugar
Dark chocolate, melted
Milk chocolate, melted

  1. Prepare the Filling: Boil the milk with the sugars, salt and baking soda. Let it cook for about 1 1/2 hours on a very low flame (if cooking on an electric stovetop, cook on low heat), stirring regularly. Cover the pot with plastic wrap and place pot inside a larger pot with boiling water. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours. The mixture should get sticky and become caramelized. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla extract, stir and allow to cool. You may prepare the dulce de leche ahead of time and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the Cookie Dough: Mix all the ingredients together to make a thick dough. If it is too dry, add some water. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours. Remove and let stand to soften.
  3. Roll out dough to 1/8 of an inch thick and use a floured 2 to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut cookie dough into circles.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  5. Bake the cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops are a very pale golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks.
  6. When ready to eat, spread dulce de leche cream between 2 cookie rounds. If desired, cover with melted chocolate or confectioner's sugar. If you opt to cover the cookies with chocolate, melt the dark chocolate and milk chocolate together on top of the stove (over very low heat) or in a microwave oven.

Substitute: In place of the rum, try using rum extract or add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the cookie dough.