Peru Desserts – Peruvian Dessert Recipes
Desserts were introduced to Peru by Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century. That isn’t to say that the native people of Peru never ate sweets or “after-dinner treats” . . . just that what we think of today as Peruvian desserts are heavily influenced by European sweet confections.
Here’s a list of awesome Peruvian desserts, along with a few short recipes.
Huevo Chimbo — a very rich dessert, something like an egg custard and something like traditional Spanish flan, usually served with local nuts and berries.
Encanelado — a light and fluffy egg-based cake loaded with cinnamon.
Bien me Sabe — originally made by nuns, this sweet treat’s recipe is too
complex for most of us to reproduce at home. A coconut-based cake with layers of cream and meringue.
Alfajores — a sweet custard pressed between two light pieces of pastry.
- 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla rum
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 (11.5 ounce) jar dulce de leche
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat in vanilla rum, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a spoon, making a crumbly dough. Press the dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a small round cookie cutter. Continue pressing the dough together, rolling it out, and cutting until you have used it all. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven until set, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies immediately to cool on a wire rack.
Spread the underside of a cooled cookie with a teaspoon of dulce de leche, then sandwich together with another cookie until the caramel oozes out the sides. Roll the sides in the shredded coconut.
Tejas — these sweet treats are usually wrapped in decorative paper and given away at festivals.
- 2 cups dulce de leche
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups white chocolate chips, or chopped white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 12-15 pitted prunes, cut into halves
- 1 cup macademia nuts
Place the dulce de leche and butter in a very heavy pot. Heat on low.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool overnight in the refrigerator.
Use a melon baller to scoop small balls of the candy, then shape them with your hands into a cylinder. Press a couple of macademia nuts and half of a prune into the top of each. Place candies in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate.
Bring an inch of water to a boil in a saucepan. Place the white chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl that fits over the top of the saucepan without touching the water. Place the bowl over the water and turn off the heat.
Stir the chips until they are melted.
Dip the candies with the nuts and prune in the chocolate, and place in the refrigerator to harden. Keep melted chocolate warm by leaving the bowl over the pot of hot water.
Once chocolate has set, dip the candies a second time. Chill until firm.