These delectable sandwich cookies are inspired by Alfajores dulce de lèche. They are probably originated in the Middle East and reached southern Spain as far back as the 8th century when the Moors occupied the Iberian peninsula. The Spanish version of the alfajor then made its way to South America in the 16th. Here is the 21st Century version made with sablé crust and stuffed with salted caramel ganache. These cookies can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator. This recipes makes about a dozen cookies (24 disks). For ultimate results, bake cookie disks in individual tart rings ≈ 3.1/4''/8cm diameter, and on non-stick oven liner perforated steaming mesh pad, also called Silpain. Pastry disks can be made using both; chocolate or regular sablé crust. If so, substitute cocoa powder for flour and proceed as followed.
In the food processor, cream butter with salt, sugar and almond meal. Cocoa powder can be added at the beginning as well. Add the egg, flour and cocoa powder. Roll out pastry between one silicon mat and parchment. Make two, 0.12''/3mm thick pastry sheets, and freeze. Cut out disks and keep frozen until ready to use. Make another pastry sheet using scraps, freeze and do likewise until done.
Bake pastry disks at 350ºF/180ºC for about 14 minutes. Remove tart rings and flip cookies.
When making caramel, be extremely vigilant and keep children and pets out. Bring to a boil, heavy cream with honey and corn syrup/glucose. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan (avoid frying pan unless you are a pro), make a caramel a sec with sugar, and cook it to dark amber stage. Turn off the heat, and carefully and slowly deglaze caramel with the hot heavy cream mixture – whisking constantly. Turn heat back on low, and cook until smooth. Add hot caramel mixture to the milk chocolate and cocoa butter. Mix and cool down to 122ºF/50ºC. Add butter, and smooth out using an immersion blender. Tap ganache on the countertop to remove excess air bubbles. Let ganache rest at room temperature. Do not refrigerate prior to use.
When salted caramel ganache reaches 73ºF/23ºC, pipe out 30g per cookie. A finished cookie should weigh 2.4 ounces/70grams (20g+30g filling+20g). Save leftover ganache for later use. Enjoy!