If you have ever tasted dulce de leche (milk caramel) and fell in love with this Argentine delight, you will love alfajores.
They are the most typical dessert or sweet snack in Argentina, just as popular as Apple Pie or Chocolate Chip Cookies in the United States; and they are intimately rooted in the local gastronomic culture.
You can find them in any corner of the country. More than 6 million alfajores are consumed in Argentina every day!
Its origin is very curious. The first alfajor recipes go back to the south of Spain, where the Arabs who invaded Andalusia between 700 and 1,400 A.C. brought their “al-hasú” (“the filling”), a sweet more similar to a soft nougat than an alfajor that was made with almond paste, walnuts and honey; and the were square. Then alfajores were introduced to the rest of Spain until at the time it crossed the ocean.
In Argentina, its first history was fried cakes stuffed with dulce de leche. The first sales are known to have been made by traveling African pastry chefs carrying baskets around their necks.
The alfajores are basically two fluffy cookies made from cornstarch, and joined with a layer of dulce de leche. In addition, coconut zest is usually put on the outside.
Dulce de leche is a dessert made with cow’s milk, sugar, vanilla essence and a pinch of baking soda.
The alfajores are very simple to prepare, and although their elaboration can be a little laborious, the result is worth it.
The classic alfajores have no coverage and are the ones that have been eaten in Argentine homes for centuries. But for years they have been making alfajores with chocolate topping (black, white and milk chocolaye), Italian meringue, and even fruit fillings, which intensify their flavor.
One of the most famous alfajores in Argentina are those of Havanna. This brand started as a small candy factory that was opened in 1869 by the French chemist, August Chammás, and started making round alfajores, and has now become the most famous manufacturer of alfajores in the world.
Other very famous brands of good quality alfajores are: Cachafaz, Jorgito and Balcarce. The Fantoche brand created the 3-layer alfajor in 1969. They are so delicious!
In Argentina, any excuse is good to have an alfajor. They’re perfect to accompany a rich mate, a tea, or even with a soft drink.
About Sara, the Author
Sara is a incessant traveler, foodie, mom of a 19-month-old baby and a cute miniature dachshund, and author of the food blog Deliciously Happy.
She shares easy, quick & delicious recipes for the whole family with few ingredients. And don’t forget desserts and cocktails! Follow her on Pinterest for more easy & healthy recipes.