I'm super excited to share this recipe with all of you. It's a Brazilian recipe called Brigadeiro. I learned how to make it from a Brazilian friend of mine while I was serving a mission there for my church and it is amazing. Typically, people there make brigadeiro for birthday parties. They cook up this chocolate concoction, let it cool, then form little balls from it and roll the balls in chocolate sprinkles. It's like eating chocolate truffles. Others will cook it for less time and then, while it's still pourable, will pour it over chocolate cake to make a delicious frosting. Both versions are very good. But, to reach its full potential, you must make it the way my friend taught me. It's what I'm choosing to call (ala Tyler Florence) "The Ultimate Brigadeiro."
The recipe itself only requires four simple ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, a little butter, and store-bought chocolate cookies (this is what makes it the Ultimate).
In Brazil, we used chocolate wafer cookies called Maizena biscuits. But, since I can't find them here in the States, I've found ways to improvise. Trader Joe's chocolate cat cookies are my personal choice of preference, but, in absence of a Trader Joe's, I substituted with Kroger brand chocolate animal cookies. Basically, you want a cookie with firmness and crunch, not one that will crumble (chocolate graham crackers, for instance, won't work but chocolate teddy grahams probably would).
You start by laying out your chocolate cookies on a non-stick baking sheet. The cookies should be no more than an inch or so long, so break them if you have to.
Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook it, stirring constantly. You want to keep going until it thickens. A good way to check this is to see if the chocolate mixture pulls away from the bottom of the pot as you stir. It should take about 10 minutes.
At that point, take it off the heat and quickly pour it over the chocolate cookies on your baking sheet.
As you can see, the mixture has gone from being liquidy to the consistency of thick chocolate pudding or chocolate caramel. At this point, you have to work fast because the mixture will start to firm up as it cools and it won't be as easy to work with. Be careful because the chocolate is also very hot and you certainly don't want to get burned.
Using a wooden spoon, combine the chocolate mixture with the cookies as best as you can.
Add more cookies if you want at this point. The ratio is really up to you, whether you want more fudginess or more crunch.
Then, place the baking sheet in the fridge for several hours (or overnight is even better) until it is fully chilled. As it chills, the chocolate mixture will solidify a little more causing all the cookies to stick together and get a bit chewy. After it has chilled, you can cut or break off pieces of the brigadeiro. Don't worry about it not looking perfect - that's part of its charm.
These brigadeiro are definitely "The Ultimate." Combined with the cookies, they become a cross between fudge, brownie, and cookie. In other words, indescribable, but defined by one sound, "Mmmmmm." They're also extremely good paired up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you truly want to indulge.
As a cute little anecdote, I took this to someone's house in Brazil for a Christmas Eve potluck. The woman of the house told me that upon asking her husband what he wanted for breakfast the following morning, her husband replied, "Do we still have any of that chocolate thing that she brought over last night?"
Brigadeiro (taught to me by my Brazilian friend)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (or more according to taste)
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
chocolate wafer cookies (ex: Trader Joe's chocolate cat cookies)
Form a layer of chocolate cookies on a non-stick or lined cookie sheet. Combine the condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring constantly and cooking it until the mixture has thickened (i.e. it pulls away from the bottom of the pot as you stir it), about 10 minutes. After it thickens, immediately remove it from the heat and quickly pour it over the cookies. Stir to combine the cookies with the chocolate mixture. Add more cookies at this point if you wish. Put it into the refrigerator to chill for several hours. Cut or break into pieces.
This recipe is linked to:
EKat's Kitchen's "Friday Potluck"
A Prairie Story's "Recipe Swap Thursday"
A Beautiful Mess' "Tasty Tuesdays"
Week 3 Twelve Weeks of Christmas: