What are brigadeiros?
[amazon_image id=”B004G99T9Y” link=”true” target=”_self” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Itamaraty Brigadeiro, 3.87-Ounce (Pack of 40)[/amazon_image]Brigadeiros are a simple chocolate Brazilian bon bon.  They are bite sized desserts, similar in shape to truffles, and are described as chewy and fudgy. Brigadeiros are a popular part of the culture in Brazil — brigadeiros are considered the country’s national sweet. They are a required kids birthday party food!

[amazon_image id=”8579142539″ link=”true” target=”_self” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Brigadeiros e Bolinhas (Em Portugues do Brasil)[/amazon_image]Brigadeiros are also versatile..the varieties are endless. Nowadays, it’s kind of a trend to vary the recipe of the brigadeiro. They can be casual or formal. Brigadeiros are served at many events, as cocktail party food, finger foods for weddings, formal dinner party appetizers, and as an everyday bite size snack.  You’re never too old nor too young for brigadeiros.

What’s in a brigadeiro?
The basic brigadeiro recipe uses just 3 ingredients. Sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate.  Everything starts from that.  Easy. Delicious. Chocolate. Need I say more?

How did brigadeiros get their name?

Brigadeiros were named after famous 1940s Brazilian Air Force brigadier and chocoholic, Eduardo Gomes.

What is the history of brigadeiros?
This Brazilian candy was created in the 1940’s by a group of ladies from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brigadier Eduardo Gomes was a handsome and dashing bachelor who was running for the office of president.  This chocolate delicacy was created in his honor and sold to raise funds for his candidacy. The candy was named after his military rank. His campaign slogan was: “Vote for the brigadier, who is handsome and single.” Eduardo Gomes lost the election, but he did inspire the creation of the very popular chocolate bite size dessert, the brigadeiro.

Can you make brigadeiros ahead of time?
[amazon_image id=”1906868204″ link=”true” target=”_self” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook[/amazon_image]Yes, you can.  I highly recommend it. If I were to estimate the total time from start to finish, it is probably about 1 hour. Twenty minutes of that involves the constant stirring. Then it needs to cool down a bit so you can roll it into balls. As it is cooling, I start lining up approximately 20 – 25  mini baking cups on the counter. Then I just roll, dip in the coating and place in the mini baking cup.

Can I make large quantities of brigadeiros?
Yes. Just do it in batches. Use a maximum of 2x the quantity of each brigadeiro recipe at one time. If you try to do more than double a brigadeiro recipe, the batter cooks unevenly.

How do you store and/or save brigadeiros?
[amazon_image id=”142360315X” link=”true” target=”_self” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Brazilian Table, The[/amazon_image]Store brigadeiros in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  If refrigerating brigadeiros, you may wish to bring them to room temperature before serving. Be aware that they are very sensitive to warm temperatures — I personally, save them in the refrigerator.


What if the brigadeiros are too soft and impossible to roll?

  • This typically happens when you use non-fat condensed milk. Your brigadeiros need the fat content in order to hold their shape.
  • Under-cooking the brigadeiros can also make the candies too soft to shape properly.
  • Using too much butter will make the brigadeiros too soft to roll.

What if the brigadeiros are too hard to roll?

  • This typically happens when you over-cook the brigadeiro batter.
  • The brigadeiros may be too hard from not using enough butter.

Note : It is hard to tell if the brigadeiro batter is ruined without tasting… if it is burned, it will be bitter. In some cases it will be hard like peanut brittle but still taste delicious.

What can I use under-cooked and/or soft brigadeiros for?

  • Under-cooking the brigadeiro batter will result in excellent frosting or filling for cake. Spread over pizza dough.
  • You can also pour over ice-cream  etc.Can be reheated/baked, will melt when hot and then recover its texture.
  • Put the batter in small glasses and eat it like pudding!!

What can I use over-cooked and/or hard brigadeiros for?
If the brigadeiro batter is not bitter, just can eat it like peanut brittle. Just break it into chunks.

What can I use to help form the brigadeiros?

  • melon ball scooper to make balls
  • teaspoon
  • form balls your hands

How do you know that your brigadeiro batter is cooked properly?

  • If you want to make sure the dough or batter is ready, put a small amount of the dough inside a glass of cold water. The brigadeiro dough must keep its shape.
  • You will know that your brigadeiro dough is ready when it is the consistency of oatmeal.
  • They will be soft enough to roll into balls but they should not be runny. They also don’t really harden but they should be able to hold their ball shape.

Can I use chocolate chips instead of cocoa?
If you opt for chocolate chip, don’t add them during the cooking stage but at the end, just so you stir and melt. The  condensed milk batter will be more than hot enough to melt chocolate chips in a few seconds.  Just stir vigorously.