While I was in Miami a few weeks ago, we often stopped into local bakeries (often Cuban run) to grab breakfast or a snack which featured a variety of pastries, such as the beautiful alfajore (ahl-fah-hore), a staple in Latin America. An alfajore is a delicate shortbread-like sandwich cookie that is filled with dulce de leche (caramel) or jam. It literally brings together the best of indulgences: buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread and smooth creamy caramel. Not exactly the kind of food you’d expect to find on a blog devoted to healthy eating. But I believe a healthy diet isn’t devoid of treats. They’re just revamped with healthier ingredients.
So while this version isn’t something I’d suggest eating every day, it’s definitely a step up from the original treat. Here’s why:
- there’s no refined sugar or flour
- coconut flour is high in fibre making this a better choice than wheat flour
- it’s gluten free
- it uses organic eggs and butter
- the coconut jam (by the brand CocoVie) is dairy-free
I haven’t perfected a vegan version yet, so this recipe does use organic eggs and butter (as I prefer to use whole foods than a processed form of vegan “butter”). I’m working on revising the recipe, perhaps with a different flour and even to try a vegan version using coconut oil. If I’m successful I will definitely post a new version! Until then, I hope you enjoy this is delicious alternative that uses healthier, whole food ingredients which is just as delectable as the original.
What are your favourite food discoveries that you’ve made while travelling? Feel free to share in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
Coconut Flour Alfajores (makes 6-7 large sandwich cookies)
For the cookie:
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup organic unsalted butter (or use Earth Balance Butter for dairy-free)
- 4 organic eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup raw honey, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
For the filling:
- CocoVie Coconut Jam (whatever flavour you prefer)
- unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- Mix the coconut flour, butter, eggs, salt, honey and vanilla until well combined. Allow to refrigerate for about 2-3 hours until firm in an airtight container.
- When you are ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness and use the end of a glass to cut 3 inch rounds. For smaller cookies, use a smaller cookie cutter.
- Place the rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reroll scraps and continue rolling and cutting rounds until the dough is used up.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes until tops and edges are golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
- Spread one cookie with coconut jam right to the edge and top with another cookie. Only spread jam on cookies you intend on serving within the day as the jam can make the cookies soggy. Press gently so that the jam comes to the edge of the cookie.
- Sprinkle coconut along the edges of the cookie so it sticks to the jam.
- Store cookies in an airtight container, or make all sandwich cookies and freeze to enjoy later.