Not long ago, via Foodbuzz, I received a parcel of goodies from Foodzie, a cool service that will send you a monthly parcel of unique food finds from around the nation. A fun way to get to know some new products.
But by far and away, the item in the parcel that captured most of my sweet little heart was the Alfajores made by Sabores del Sur, in the SF Bay area.
Here's their description of the sweet treats: "filled with creamy dulce de leche caramel and dusted with white powdered sugar, these South American treats have been described as "little bites of heaven".
Of course "little" might not be the right word in this case, because the ones in this parcel were a mouthful, hefty crumbly sugary cookies sandwiched with a generous filling of dulce de leche (I think it's Spanish for "addictive-as-crack").
Though you may not have heard of alfajores before, they are quite popular--even ubiquitous--in South America. There are many different variations depending on what country you visit. Per Wikipedia:
In most American alfajores there are two layers of cake, and a filling in between. In Argentina its basic form consists of two round sweet biscuits joined together with mousse, dulce de leche or jam and coated with black or white chocolate (many alfajores are sold in "black" and "white" flavours) or simply covered with powdered sugar. There's also one variation, called "Alfajor de nieve", that instead of having a white or black chocolate coating, it has a "snow" coating. The "snow coating" consists of a mixture of egg whites and sugar. Peruvian alfajores are usually coated in powdered sugar, as seen in the picture, and are filled with manjar blanco. Most alfajores come packaged in aluminium foil, in Mexico they are made with just coconut, and are normally a tri-color coconut confection, in Nicaragua, they follow more in the lines of the Canary island type of alfajores and are made with molasses and different type of grains including corn, and cacao similarly to most chocolate bars, though hand-made are just as accessible and generally packaged in plastic wrap or wax paper.
Certainly Sabores del Sur are worth seeking out (check out their site, or find them on Foodzie), but if you prefer to make your own, check out this recipe via RecipeGirl.com or this recipe for Pisco-infused alfajores on this very site.