Salted Alfajores Bars

Salted Alfajores Bars

Salted Alfajores Bars

“Oh Julianna, I have a present for you…” –  exclaimed my friend Violetta, upon her return from Argentina. And when she excitedly handed me the coveted box of Alfajores, I did a happy dance! I mean real Alfajores, from Argentina are just not found in Vancouver – anywhere! And here is my confession:  I didn’t share them…not even with my husband! Oh no, I closeted myself in my office at work and ate every crumb by myself!   But I saved the box to share with you in my photos – how kind of me, eh? Oh, and just in case you don’t know what an Alfajore is;  it is  like a “Wagon Wheel” if you grew up with them, except that the filling is dulce de leche instead of marshmallow.  Some are coated in chocolate, and some in a crunchy white sugar coating. Either style is ultra addictive.

When MB first posted this recipe for Salted Alfajore Bars on her mouth-watering blog,  Bourbon and Brown Sugar, I just knew that I had to try making them, and I knew that I would want to share them with my good friend, Violetta who had so kindly gifted me the originals from Argentina. These bars are loosely based on the idea of Alfajores, but they are amazing in their own right, and just as addictive as their namesake. Because I am still learning about my new oven, my batch came out a bit dry, but once I stored the cooled bars in an airtight container, the pastry softened up and was a perfect, sweet, crumbly  base for the rich dulce de leche.  I will make these bars again for sure.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did.

I will be bringing over a big batch to Angie’s  Fiesta Friday.  Please come and join us! Many thanks to our lovely co-hosts, Josette @ The Brook Cook and Lily @ The Little Sweet Baker.

Dulce de Leche sandwiched between layers of sweet shortbread pastry.

Dulce de Leche sandwiched between layers of sweet shortbread pastry.

Salted Alfajores Bars

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 pound) salted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 16-ounce jar of dulce de leche

1 teaspoon sea salt

 Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars, and beat until creamy. Add the vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the flour into the butter mixture and mix on low speed until a smooth, soft dough forms.

Grease a 9”X13” pan and line with parchment paper.

Press half the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Bake the bottom crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove crust from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Microwave the dulce de leche for about 30 seconds, so that it softens a bit and is easy to spread.

Spoon the dulce de leche onto the bottom crust and spread it evenly. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and crumble it evenly over the filling layer. Sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the topping.

Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the topping is firm and lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let the pan cool completely before using a sharp knife to cut into squares.

These bars make a delicious gift!

These bars make a delicious gift!

 

 

32 Responses to “Salted Alfajores Bars”

  1. Les

    Wow ! Look pretty good. I even have a container of dulce de leche in the cupboard …. the lb. of butter though is a bit of a turn off since I’m trying to lose 9-10 lbs right now . LOL
    Cheers
    Les

    Reply
  2. chefjulianna

    Oh come on, Les! Life is short! Just cut the bars REALLY small!! I know you will love them! Hope all is well with you! Take good care… and don’t worry about a few numbers! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Josette@thebrookcook

    These are to die for. I made them after seeing them on Bourbon and Brown Sugar too!! 🙂 I was seriously considering bringing them to my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby next weekend as well. I have to now. 🙂 Thanks, Julianna! Have a great weekend.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      How cool! Thanks to MB many of us have been enjoying these delightful bars! I would bring them to any event – they would be devoured anywhere!
      You hava an awesome weekend too, Josette. And thanks a bunch for co-hosting! 😀

      Reply
  4. Ginger

    I saw the post and have been dying to make alfajores – we spent an hour next to the Havanna shop in the airport in Santiago de Chile this Summer…I must have lost a stone from drooling over the display which means I’ve earned it! Thanks for posting and reminding me 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Haha, so funny! If you lost a stone by drooling, you could have picked up several dozen to off-set the lost stones! That’s how I would justify it anyway! 😀

      Reply
  5. Nancy

    I’ve seen these in stores, yet always ignored them…why, oh why? These look delectable! I suppose I can continue to ignore them, because now I can make them! Thanks for sharing your recipe, Julianna!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Seriously Nancy? You have found them where you live? Ok, I am going to have to cast a wider net to see if I can find them here! You now have sent me on a quest… Have a great weekend, Nancy! 😀

      Reply
      • Nancy

        If you have a Cost Plus World Market within the range of your net, I would start there. 🙂

  6. tentimestea

    I can’t imagine a better cookie to turn into a bar. Or a better bar of any sort! These are sounding just too incredible Julianna…it might be dangerous if I make them!!

    Reply
  7. petra08

    I have never heard of Alfajores bars but your description, and the fact that you didn’t even share them makes me think they must be utterly delicious! Thank you for sharing this with us 🙂

    Reply
  8. Margherita

    I understand perfectly Jullianna, I do love alfajores too! You did it right hiding them from others… I have an Argentinian friend in Montreal, anytime he goes home he brings some! Next time, I don’t have excuse… I will try this recipe! Awesome!

    Reply

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