Assorted Brigadeiros and Docinhos … …

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Brigadeiros are Brazil’s most popular sweet. So simple to make yet so beautiful to display and I think they are ideal for the Christmas week. Another hand-made gift that will be appreciated by family and friends for the festive period. I made an assortment today, from multicolor chocolate ones to strawberry and raspberry flavors. Then there are almond, hazelnut and candied fruit Brigadieros. You can really go wild with flavors. I covered the dark chocolate ones with chocolate shavings as I did not have chocolate sprinkles but if you are going to make Brigadieros stock up on a good selection of sprinkles and be creative.

Each dish with every ingredient in it has a story and I wondered where the name Brigadeiros came from. Apparently these delightful pop-in-the-mouth bonbons are named after a politician Brigadier Eduardo Gomes who ran for the Presidency in 1946 at the same time when Nestle introduced its cocoa powder and condensed milk into the country during times with great shortages of imported foods. In the south, they are known as Neghrinos.

I added a spoon of local carob syrup to the chocolate mix as I think it enhances the chocolate flavor.

I also love olhos de sogra made with dried prunes and I made them today stuffed with the Brigadieros mix and dusted them with multicolor sprinklers. I carried on with the idea and stuffed dried figs and apricots in the same way.

Making these brightened up my day, they are fun! If I still had young kids I am sure Brigadiero-making would keep them entertained this holiday season…

You will need :

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz or 397 g)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter
Few drops good vanilla extract
Chocolate sprinkles for decoration

Pour the condensed milk into your heaviest pot. Stir in the cocoa powder and the salt.

Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat. Keep the mixture barely at a boil to prevent burning and sticking.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until mixture becomes very thick and shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.

Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. With buttered hands, roll the mixture into 1 inch balls. I also made some mini ones, very tiny like pop-in-melt-in-your-mouth treats, great for someone watching the calories or just to serve with coffee at the end of a meal.

Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place in a paper liner.

Chill until ready to serve.

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20131215-180036.jpg Dried Apricots ciut open and stuffed with Brigadieros mix and dipped into confectioners sugar

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And a feast of Brigadieros, chocolate, multi colored, strawberry and raspberry flavors decorated with colored sugar and dried prunes, figs and apricots, a variation from olhos de sogra !