Is it even possible? Can low carb and sugar free alfajores be a real thing. Oh yes, I have done it and I am so delighted by these delicious keto caramel sandwich cookies. Absolutely divine. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
Can you believe I created a low carb alfajores recipe?
Okay hang on, do you even know what alfajores are? Perhaps we need to tackle that subject before we get into this glorious keto caramel cookie recipe. Cleary some of you are familiar with them, since you’ve been asking me for this alfajores recipe ever since I published my sugar-free dulce de leche recipe.
But others may not be so familiar with them, so let’s start at the beginning.
First, let me be clear that the term alfajores is the plural, so it’s referring to the whole big batch of cookies. When you want to discuss a single cookie, that would be an alfajor. Isn’t my Spanish fabulous? These might be some of the only words I know, but they are very very important words.
What are Alfajores?
These cookies are fabulous and you need to incorporate them immediately into your keto desserts lexicon.
In essence, they are a kind of delicate shortbread cookie sandwich with an amazing dulce de leche filling. They originated in Spain but are extremely popular in South America. One bite and you’ll know why.
Although I’ve never actually had a conventional alfajor, but my keto version was so good, I have to assume that the real thing is also swoon-worthy.
Traditional South American alfajores are made with cornstarch and flour, which is obviously isn’t going to fly for the keto diet. But beyond that little discrepancy, I did my best to stay as true to the original as I possibly could.
Of course, as is always the case with a popular classic recipe, there are many regional variations and small twists. I consulted any number of alfajores recipes before working out how to make my own.
Tips for a Keto Alfajores Recipe
I knew I needed reliable keto flours to give this delicate cookie the right consistency, so of course I turned to Bob’s Red Mill. I really find their almond flour and coconut flour to be exceptional. The combination of these two is what helps create a tender shortbread-like texture.
The cookies aren’t meant to rise very much, so using baking soda instead of baking powder helps keep them from being overly cakey.
Adding a bit of brandy may seem like an unusual step for a cooking but several traditional recipes I consulted included it. I decided to go with it, but it’s not required. A bit of water would work just as well.
The lemon zest, along with the vanilla, gives the alfajores a uniquely light flavor. I recommend including the lemon zest no matter what.
And using powdered sweetener is critical to getting that tender shortbread texture, without any residual grittiness. Please be sure it is an erythritol sweetener, as other sweeteners will make the cookies too soft and cakey.
Don’t roll the dough too thinly. I’ve seen some alfajores that have some thicker cookies and some thinner ones as well. But 1/4 inch thick is about as thin as you want it. Otherwise they cook and brown too quickly and don’t have that incredibly delicate, melt in your mouth texture.
They will seem very soft as they come out of the oven. Don’t panic, this is normal for keto cookies. They will continue to firm up as they cool.
Then you’re going to have a delightfully delicious time filling those tender rounds with my sugar-free dulce de leche. Did I mention you want to make that ahead of time? Don’t worry, that part is easy. Just be sure to make it ahead and refrigerate it for a while. Otherwise it’s so soft, it tends so squish right out of your cookies.
Finally, take a little more powdered sweetener and lightly dust your cookies.
And finally, pick one up and bite into it. Now you will understand why I had to make a keto-friendly alfajores recipe!
More Delicious Keto Sandwich Cookies
- 3/4 cup sugar free dulce de leche (refrigerated)
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the powdered sweetener until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, then beat in the brandy, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
- Beat in the flour mixture until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into one big ball and transfer to a silicone mat or a large piece of parchment paper. Shape into a disc and cover with another piece of parchment, then roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut with a 2 inch round cookie cutter and gently lift with an offset spatula. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. You should get about 36 cookies.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until just barely golden. The cookies will still be quite soft but will firm up as they cool. Let cool completely.
- Once cool take one cookie and spread the bottom with about 2 teaspoons of chilled dulce de leche. Top with another cookie and sprinkle with powdered sweetener. Repeat with remaining cookies and remaining dulce de leche.