Sweet Hearts

You either love to love it or love to hate it, right? Valentine’s Day, I mean. There are people who love to wear red and pink, hand out flowers, bake cakes, make dinner reservations and so on and so on. And then there are people who despise a day which celebrates love and romance. They wear black, refuse to smile and will have nothing to do with cards or candy hearts.

Here in Peru, the thought that someone would hate Valentine’s Day is inconceivable! Sure, there are some red and pink balloons hung up and flowers are sold on the corner. But today, it doesn’t matter if you have a special someone or not. Why?

Today is Friendship Day. Feliz Dia de la Amistad. People celebrate the friendships in their life, the people who are important. Take time today to honor the people in your life you count as friends. Celebrate them.

Wondering how to make this Friendship day extra-special? Try these. The light shortbread cookie paired with the sweet dulce de leche is unforgettable. This is one of my favorite sweets here in Peru. So, I made these sweet hearts for my sweet friends today.

Alfajores // Shortbread Caramel Sandwiches

Yield: Makes 12

Source: Adapted from La Cocina de la Calle


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of manjar blanco (dulce de leche)


  1. On a clean surface, mix the flour, salt and butter together with your hands until the ingredients are well combined. Add 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar and vanilla; kneading together until combined. Cover well and chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough out to a 3mm thickness. (Cover with wax paper to roll out thin and evenly.) Cut into circles (7.5cm diameter) or other shape. Place carefully on a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with flour. Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes, removing them from the oven before they brown. Allow them to cool 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Spread manjar blanco on the bottom of one cookie, then cover it with the bottom of another. Sift powdered sugar over the tops of the alfajor sandwiches.

Can’t find dulce de leche? Check out this post for more information.

Heart shaped Peruvian Alfajores are my submission for A Heart for Your Valentine, hosted by Zorra at 1x umrühren bitte. Check out other edible hearts from this event here and here.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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18 Responses

  1. Karen says:

    Very sweet! Love the photos! Enjoy one for me today.

  2. slush says:

    They are wicked cute. I am sure your friends enjoyed them.

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    Another delicious reason to get into my kitchen and make some dulce de leche — my husband will be thrilled if I actually do it!

  4. Alita says:

    Really nice design of these cute heart-shaped cookies! The Peruviancuisines was not known to me, but I know a lot other things about Peru, I should read your blog more carefully 🙂 Cheers!

  5. Mar says:

    MMMMMM se ven super tentadores!!!Un clásico delicioso que siempre hago de mi cocina!!!,

  6. Deborah says:

    I like the idea of Friendship Day better than Valentine’s Day! I don’t love VD, but I don’t hate it either. These cookies, though – I do love them!

  7. Isa says:

    Soooooooooooo cute! I love alfajores… When I cook them I fill have a batch with manjar and the other one with raspberry or apricot jam.Your blog is really nice!*And thanks for your comment on my blog.

  8. zorra says:

    Can I be your fiend, too? These Alfajores look so awesome. I have a glass of dulce de leche on my cupboard, so I will bake those soon.Thank you for your participation, I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day.

  9. Sarah says:

    These are really cute & really delicious looking! I’m dying to try them, especially with all that dulce de leche! I’m sure your friends were so happy. 🙂

  10. Paz says:

    This looks like something I can try to make! ;-)Paz

  11. skrockodile says:

    Those are really beautiful! I like the idea of friendship day – that’s how I think of valentine’s day anyway – a chance to appreciate those you love!

  12. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Karen – I enjoyed one too many! :)Slush – Thanks and they sure did!Lydia – Totally worth it! These are my favorite cookie in Peru! Delicious!Alita – Thanks! Enjoy!Mar – Muchas gracias! Eso fue mi primera vez pero no sera la ultima! Delicioso!Deborah – These are delicious anytime & in any shape!Isa – Alfajores with jam? Now that is something I will have to try!Zorra – Sure you can be my friend! I hope you do make them as they are delicious!!Sarah – My friends did enjoy them! Hope you can make them soon!Paz – Of course you can!Skrockodile – Thanks for your visit!

  13. Cakelaw says:

    These biscuits are so gorgeous, and as they contin dulce de leche, I can just imagine how good they would taste! I like the idea of Valentines Day being known as “friendship day” – it’s far less exclusive than the couple thing associated with Valentines.

  14. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Cakelaw – These were absolutely delicious! And yes, Friendship Day offers a lot less pressure!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh I tried some in Argentina in my last visit. They were from Santa Fee I believe (:

  16. Alfajor de los alfajores argentina says:

    Lovely Hearts!!!I found a site with a lot of information for “alfajores”. It is in Spanish and it has a couple of good recipeshttp://www.alfajorargentino.com.arYou can translate it using google 😉

  17. alfajor says:

    El alfajor. Historia del alfajor, secretos de los alfajores, recetas para hacer alfajores de maicena, diferentes tipos de alfajor. Alfajor santafecino y alfajor cordobes. Marcas de alfajores milka, terrabusi, bagley, capitan del espacio, havanna y balcarce.http://www.alfajorargentino.com.ar

  18. Jen says:

    Oh I have been looking for a recipe for home made alfajores for the longest time…

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