Friday, October 15, 2010

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies #3 - Brigadeiro


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.

Then, combine the condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter in a non-stick saucepan. The cocoa powder can be adjusted according to your taste. You can add a little more if you want it to be more chocolatey (I usually do).


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: 

52 comments:

  1. I love off of these easy recipes people are posting this week! Yours looks like it would be a winner in this house! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. How fun to see a Brazillian cookie! YUMMMY!

    Happy Friday!
    ~avril :-)

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  3. What a cool recipe! I think I'll have to try these for the school bake sale. Easy and affordable.
    I thought of you as I made this weeks treat, it had corn flakes in it! :)

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  4. Sounds yummy, Lisa! :) I will definitely have to try it soon.

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  5. Okay, so I haven't seen any others yet, but yours is my favorite cookie this week. Really, I love how simple it is, that it's CHOCOLATE and that it has a story and a memory. Thanks for sharing. We'll be trying it for sure! Thanks, Lisa.

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  6. These sound and look delicious!

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  7. Lisa, these cookies look SO GOOD! I can see why they are the "ultimate!" How fun to bake something that conjures up missionary memories:)

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  8. What a sinful dessert! It looks fabulous though, and super easy!

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  9. Wow you served a mission in Brazil! I went to Uruguay-we were border buddies. I remember hearing about these cookies but have never tried them. They look really simple and yummy!

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  10. Oh my gosh, Lisa, these are totally amazing! I can't wait to try them. And, honestly, I thought I was following you already, don't know what happened, but am definitely following you now!

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  11. ummm.. YUM!!!! This looks so amazing - cookie, brownie and fudge, indeed! It doesn't help that it's almost lunch and I'm getting hungry -- this sounds like the perfect solution! Thank you for joining Friday Potluck this week - hope you'll continue to join in.

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  12. WOW! I was an exchange student in Brazil and seeing these made me so homesick! I can't wait to make them (and savor every single delicious bite!)

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  13. wow, I'm glad I started following you! This recipe is definitely up my alley. Trying them ASAP. thanks!

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  14. These do look indulgent! Vanilla ice cream with this sounds amazing - yum!

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  15. Hi! I'm Brazilian and I' baking along with you! Tonight I'll post my first cookies post! (When I arrive home from work)
    I'm glad you've post a Brazilian recipe! And this way of making them looks delicious! I've never made it with wafer cookies, and your pictures look so yummy that I'll have to try!
    Here we have a lot of flavors of Brazilian fudges "brigadeiro", I think I'll post some until the 12 weeks are gone ;)
    Just loved your idea!

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  16. Brigadeiro...I have learned something new today. They look very delicious!
    Angie

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  17. Yum, lots of chocolate. I love that there are so few ingredients. Can't wait to test them out...I'm sure I can borrow some of Little Man's cookies from him! :)

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  18. I have never heard of these cookies, but I sure do want to make some now!!

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  19. Those look awesome!!! I've never heard of these but I can't wait to try them out.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  20. These look delicious and easy, I will have to try them!

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  21. Very cool Lisa. It's nice that's its easy to make rather than worrying that you're going to burn then...LOL

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  22. Crikey, I don't know what happened to my first comment! LOL

    Anyway, I said something along the lines of that it's great to have something so easy to make instead of worrying that you're gonna burn them!!

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  23. Where have these been all my life? They look insanely good! Thanks for showing us how to make them.

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  24. Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting my blog, glad I found yours :) One of my best friends hails from Brazil and she makes a slightly different version of Brigadeiro, I can't remember how but I think it involves cooking condensed milk and cocoa powder (and something else) to a thick fudge and then rolling it in chocolate sprinkles.

    This version sounds very yummy too, the extra cookies would make a nice textural crunch.

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  25. Looks like fun ... whats great is that you can tweak it the cruchiness/fudginess to your liking :)

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  26. How have I never heard of these before! They look kind of like chocolate heaven. I'm intrigued...

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  27. Lisa, I bought a cooking magazine last weekend (can't remember which one now) and they had these in there and I marked the page to make them. They looked so good and I love making food from other cultures. I'm so glad you shared this as now I'm positive I'm going to make them. Thanks!

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  28. These look absolutely delicious!

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  29. I love new & different recipes! Thanks for sharing. Sweetened Condensed milk.... heck, I'm in!

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  30. Hi Lisa, sounds so easy and yum, adding the biscuit gives the crunch to the brigadeiro...

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  31. I was given a recipe for these a few weeks back and they are on my list to try during the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, I cant wait to see how they turn out after seeing yours!

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  32. Wow, what a unique way to make cookies. Not to mention, sounds like something kids could have fun helping out with! It looks and sounds delicious!

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  33. These sound so yummy Lisa and love how easy the are to make. I've very much into recipes that are simple yet still delicious! :-)

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  34. What a great recipe! I know my children would love this! I can't wait to try it!

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  35. This looks amazing Lisa! I would devour these. Thanks for sharing an=d your support during PFB.

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  36. Wow! How easy is that?! They sound incredible.

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  37. That sounds really good--you can't go wrong with chocolate and sweetened condensed milk!

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  38. Lisa,

    These are new to me and they look decadent! I like to combine different ingredients for a change and you've done it here. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  39. First time I read about this cookie. That something my family would love.

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  40. I have never heard of this and it sounds amazing!

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  41. What a fun post! I've never heard of this before. It sounds easy and delicious.

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  42. These are so great! Never seen anything like them!

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  43. I'm so excited for this! My husband lived in Brazil for two years, so he would be so excited for me to make this.

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  44. Both of my sons served Missions in Brazil for our church. This looks yummy, I'll ask them if they have tried this treat.

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  45. What a neat idea for a cookie. They look so full of chocolate yuminess. Thanks for sharing this Brazil cookie idea.

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  46. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like it must be yummy.

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  47. It sounds delicious, but definitely this is not our Brazilian Brigadeiro, it may use the chocolate mixture used to make Brigadeiro. It should have another name not Brigadeiro.

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