A Bite of Buenos Aires

Sample a little bit of heaven—delicious Argentine desserts handmade in Oakland.


Susan Burdick

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to taste a cloud—a soft and airy, sugary shortbread cloud prepared in the Land of Delicious—then you will appreciate alfajores. Made in Oakland by native Argentine Andrea Ozzuna, these petite treats are essentially two pastry cookies sandwiched around a glaze of thick dulce de leche caramel sauce (dulce de leche literally translates to “milk candy”).

After years of cooking at her grandmother’s side, owner and baker Ozzuna was inspired to turn her love for these dreamy bites into a business, and now she’s been running Buenos Aires Alfajores for two years. She says, “My grandma made lots of things, and sweets were one of them. I started making alfajores because here in the Bay Area, I didn’t have access to Argentinian sweets. So to get them, I had to make them.” Now the alfajores (pronounced al-fa-ho-res) are available at markets around the Bay Area, including Whole Foods Market, Rainbow Grocery, and Mollie Stone’s Markets. Individual treats are on sale in neighborhood spots like Cafe Gabriela on Broadway and Ultimate Grounds Et Al on Park Boulevard.

Ozzuna bakes four types of alfajores, and each of them brings its own pleasure-inducing flavors to the table. The traditional style is light and crumbly, while its chocolate-covered counterpart is a bit denser (and absolutely perfect with a cup of hot coffee). Aside from these two top-sellers are the subtle vanilla-flavored, meringue-glazed alfajores and the pillowy coconut-rolled variety. “The flavors I
make are very traditional,” Ozzuna says. “They are the flavors we use in Argentina. You’d find them in every bakery.” For those who prefer to stay clear of wheat, there is also a gluten-free version made with rice flour.

Ozzuna is already dreaming about the next recipe that will make her grandmother proud and keep her customers coming back. “I’m working on expanding what I have. Maybe I will do a chocolate cookie with chocolate mousse.”

For more information about Buenos Aires Alfajores: www.buenosairesalfajores.com.

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