Peruvian Caramel Cookies

"According to the story, there's a Peruvian bakery in New York where, on Wednesday mornings the line forms very early for these cookies. And, they cost a buck each. I believe it. They're incredible when they're fresh. Got it off the net from someone who's Chilean friend gave her the same authentic recipe. You can make your own caramel recipe but it won't taste the same."
photo by lilsweetie photo by lilsweetie
photo by lilsweetie
Ready In:
24-26 cookies




  • Cream butter with confectioners' and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  • If chilled longer let it warm up until it can be rolled.
  • Or, whack it with a rolling pin until it cooperates.
  • Roll dough out to 1/4" thickness, cut in 2 1/2" circles and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes.
  • Cool cookie sheets between batches.
  • Cool cookies on wire rack.
  • Carefully (they're fragile cookies) spread some caramel on one cookie and top with another cookie.
  • Dust tops with confectioners' sugar and enjoy immediately having a crisp cookie-the way they were meant to be eaten.
  • They will turn soft after setting.
  • Alternatively the cookies can be filled with the rewarmed caramel as needed.
  • Caramel: Pour both cans of condensed milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and simmer on very low heat 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Eventually the milk will thicken and brown.
  • Cool well and it will thicken further.
  • Refrigerate until needed.
  • Makes enough for 4-5 dozen cookies.

Questions & Replies

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  1. sandrabink
    you can cook the condensed milk and take label off the can in the can and fill a sauce pan with water to cover for a couple hours or less boil the water .And in the end it is alot less cleanup and my husband family is all Peruvian and that is the way they do it...when done let cool a bit then open can carefully brown gooey yummm
  2. manhattan
    My son made these for a Spanish class assignment. The only change was to use store bought Dulce de leche (found at Cost Plus World Market). He got an A+ and didn't bring home any leftovers! :)
  3. buelow
    These are actually called Alfajores. The cookies are the perfect "pie crust" texture they are supposed to be. I did not need to cool the baking sheet completely, nor did I chill the dough. I cooled the cookies on a flat surface because they seemed a bit too fragile for a wire rack right out of the oven. Also, I used store bought dulce de leche (Nestle) which worked fine and saved tons of time.
  4. chrissuzuki
    These are the best cookies I have ever tasted. Don't be put off by the preparation time. it's really not that bad, only the caramel takes a long time to make, but you can do other things while keeping an eye on it. The cookies themselves don't take that long and were an absolute hit at a birthday party, well worth the effort to make them. *I followed the advice above about using only one can of condensed milk, only to find that I was short for about half the batch and had the extremely tedious task of slow boiling another can in order to finish the cookies...the recipe is correct - you definately NEED two cans of condensed milk.
  5. Victor B.
    This is VERY similar to what in Peru we call "Alfajores" (Al-pha-hó-res). We don't chill the dough though. My mom makes the best ones ever! I'll post her recipe one of these days. :)


  1. mistitan
    These are my favorite cookies and I've loved them since I had them at a Peruvian restaurant. This recipe is very good. The cookie is a shortbread variation. I did ground candied pecans instead of the almonds since that is all I had. These are delicious...


I’m a former interior designer and landscape designer. At the moment I get to enjoy being at home and working only when I want to. I like rollerblading, hiking, backpacking and trips to the ocean. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest and moved to the Northwest when I was thirty, over twenty years ago. I’m afraid they’ll have to bury me here in WA. This is God’s country and I’m never leaving. I have a smallish collection of cookbooks, preferring to use the library and a copy machine. Among my favorites though, are: Recipes 1-2-3, by Rozanne Gold, a collection of recipes containing no more than 3 ingredients (excepting water, salt and pepper); A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Mary and Vincent Price, recipes collected from friends and chefs of great restaurants around the world; The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, about a collection of cuisines I’m convinced are the healthiest in the world and The Low-Calorie Gourmet, by Pierre Franey. Currently my passions are our dogs, the garden, cooking, the natural world and of course, Dh. I can now add Zaar to that list of passions (translate: addiction). We have three dogs, two rescued and one adopted. They are Sugarpea, a Golden Retriever, Chickpea, a Llasa Apso and Sweetpea, a Shih Tzu; small, medium and large. We’re quite a sight out on the trail. One of the things I am most fond of about living here is the ability to vegetable garden year ‘round.
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