Monday, December 23

Brazilian Strawberry Brigadeiros


Brigadeiros are a common and classic Brazilian confection. They are texturally similar to a bonbon and are just as easy to make. Brigadeiros come in a wide variety of flavors, colors, and sizes. They can be found at holidays, celebrations, festivals, and make great hostess gifts. I enjoy making these for New Years or gifts. Once you learn the basic recipe, you will be hooked!

Full time 2 1/2-3 hours, includes 1-1 1/2 hour refrigeration set time
Makes approximately 24 bonbons

You will need:

14ozs sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp strawberry jelly
1 tbsp butter, diced
1-2 drops red food coloring (to look pink) OR 2 drops pink gel coloring

Let us begin:

In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, combine all ingredients.

Turn heat to low and gently stir continuously to prevent scorching and sticking.

Bring mixture to just below boiling and continue to cook until it thickens and begins to pull away from sides/bottom of pot.

Transfer mixture to a lightly buttered or greased bowl and set in refrigerator for 1-1 1/2 hours to fully set.

Once set, line a baking sheet with wax paper and pour sprinkles onto a rimmed plate.

Scoop out 1 tsp size balls and gently roll. The mixture is slightly sticky and the more you handle it, the stickier it gets. Try to do this quickly, if desired butter your palms.

Place balls into sprinkles and roll around to fully coat.

Place on baking sheet and continue to all mixture is rolled.

Place in refrigerator for a good 15-20 minutes before you plate or box.

Plate up or box up and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

These keep well for up to a week, cheers!

Sunday, December 22

Brazilian Beijinho de Coco (Coconut little kiss or Coconut candies)


These fantastic Brazilian candy look like a bonbon but, their taste is so much more. A classic confection in Brazil the "Brigadeiros" is elevated to another level with this recipe. The velvet texture coated in flaky coconut are a huge crowd pleaser, making this the perfect Holiday or New Years treat!

Full time 3 hours, includes 2 hour refrigeration set time.
Makes 24 bonbons

You will need:

14oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp butter, plus 1 tsp
1/4 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut  

Topping: 
1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut

Let us begin:

In a heat resistant bowl smear 1 tsp butter to completely grease inside of bowl. Set aside for the moment.

In a small sauce pot combine condensed milk and butter.

Heat pot over medium-low heat stirring gently and often for approximately 20 minutes or until mixture has reduced by half and thickened nicely.

Remove from heat and add in shredded coconut.

Allow to cool in pot 5-8 minutes.

Pour mixture into buttered bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or until fully set.

Once set completely line a baking sheet with wax paper and pour shredded coconut onto a rimmed plate.

Scoop out 1-1 1/2 tsp size balls and gently roll. This will be slightly sticky and the more you handle the stickier it will get. (I like to butter my palms) 

Place ball into coconut and roll around to completely coat.

Set on baking sheet and continue to all mixture is rolled.

Return to refrigerator for 20 minutes or until serving.

Plate or box up, these keep nicely for a week in a refrigerator. Cheers! 

MAKE IT: White Chocolate Lemon Truffles or Orange Truffles


Truffles make a great Handmade Valentine gift. They are easy, can be made in a variety of flavors, and look great when packaged. White Chocolate truffles are my favorite to make. They are the perfect truffle for adding zest and flavoring to. Here is a great recipe which can make two truffle favorites!

Full time 3 1/2 hours, includes 2 hour refrigeration setting time
Makes approximately 24 truffles

You will need:

1 10oz bag white chocolate chips, get the better brand not store brand. (I use  Ghirardelli baking chips for this.)
6 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, diced into 8 pieces
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest OR orange zest
1 tsp corn syrup
1/8 tsp lemon extract OR orange extract

Topping:
Colored sanding sugar

Let us begin:

In a microwave safe bowl place white chocolate and butter.

Microwave for 30 seconds.

Give it a good stir then microwave again for 30 seconds.

Give a good stir and then set bowl ontop of a heat resistant surface.

In a small pot combine cream and corn syrup.

Heat over medium heat just until bubbles form on outside edge, stirring gently.

Pour mixture into bowl with white chocolate and stir to get chocolate melting.

Once chocolate is melted and smooth, add in extract and zest.

Stir well to combine.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until fully set.

Once mixture is set. Line a baking tray with wax paper and pour your sanding sugar into a rimmed plate.

Scoop out 1 1/2 tsp size balls of mixture and gently roll. Remember the more you handle the warmer this gets, so do not handle too much.

Place ball in sanding sugar and roll to completely coat.

Place on baking and continue until all mixture is rolled.

You do not have to put these back in refrigerator, but I do. I like to let them set for 15-30 minutes after just being handled.

Store in cool place or room temp for up to a week. Store in refrigerator for up to two. Cheers!

Saturday, December 21

BAKE IT: Scandinavian Rosettes

Scandinavian rosettes are a classic and timeless year round holiday treat. These lightly fryed batter based cookies are the perfect blend of a crispy texture and powdered sugar. Depending on your iron* you can make these in a variety of seasonal shapes ranging from trees & snowflakes to pumpkins & ghosts. 

Makes 30-36 rosettes based on iron size
Full time: at least 1 hour not including cooling time (the frying bit takes a while)

You will need:

2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

For cooking:
5-6 cup vegetable oil

Topping: 
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Let us begin:

Line a baking tray with paper towels and place a wire rack on top, set aside for a moment.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar.

Whisk in milk and vanilla.

Add in flour and salt, whisk until well blended.

In a heavy bottom sauce pot or frying pan pour oil.

Heat oil to 370'.

Place rosette iron into oil and let it heat up for 5 minutes.

Remove iron and let the excess oil drip off. 

Dip hot iron into batter, making sure not to submerge or cover top of iron.

Allow excess batter to drip off for a second or two.

Fry in heated oil, making sure not to touch the bottom of pan, for 30-40 seconds until golden.


Pop rosette off iron with a fork onto wire rack.


Repeat above process, remember to heat iron before dipping in batter for 10 seconds between rosettes.

Once all batter has been used allow rosettes to fully cool before topping.

Light dust with powdered sugar to give them the classic rosette appeal, cheers!


* If your looking to purchase a Rosette iron I recommend two: If your primarily a Christmas baker stick with Nordic-ware, they have a great base kit which comes with 6 or so seasonal shapes. If you want to branch out to year round stick with Kitchen Suppy, their base kit comes with 2 or 3 shapes based on which kit you get. However, not only sell shape sets, they also sell individual shapes for year round holiday treats. Kitchen supply is easier to find and all shapes fit all of their irons.  

MAKE IT: Milk Chocolate Cherry Truffles


Truffles make a great Handmade Valentine's Day gift. They are easy, can be made in a variety of flavors, and look great when packaged. Here is a great recipe for a classic truffle favorites!

Full time 3 1/2 hours, includes 2 hour refrigeration setting time
Makes approximately 24 truffles

You will need:

1 10oz bag chocolate chips, get the better brand not store brand. (I use  Ghirardelli baking chips for this.)
1/4 cup finely diced cherry pieces 
6 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, diced into 8 pieces
1 tsp corn syrup

Topping:
Colored Sprinkles or sanding sugar

Let us begin:

In a microwave safe bowl place chocolate and butter.

Microwave for 30 seconds.

Give it a good stir then microwave again for 30 seconds.

Give a good stir and then set bowl ontop of a heat resistant surface.

In a small pot combine cream and corn syrup.

Heat over medium heat just until bubbles form on outside edge, stirring gently.

Pour mixture into bowl with chocolate and stir to get chocolate melting.

Once chocolate is melted and smooth, add in chopped cherries.


Stir well to combine.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until fully set.

Once mixture is set. Line a baking tray with wax paper and pour your topping into a rimmed plate.

Scoop out 1 1/2 tsp size balls of mixture and gently roll. Remember the more you handle the warmer this gets, so do not handle too much.

Place ball in topping and roll around to fully coat.

Place on baking and continue until all mixture is rolled.

You do not have to put these back in refrigerator, but I do. I like to let them set for 15-30 minutes after just being handled.

Store in cool place or room temp for up to a week. Store in refrigerator for up to two. Cheers!

Friday, December 20

BAKE IT: Italian Honey Balls (Strufoli)

Little morsels of fried dough, covered in honey, and all around tasty! That is probably perfect and only description someone will ever need to Strufoli. A perfect Italian dessert for any holiday meal.

Full time 1-1 1/2 hours
Serves 8-10

You will need: 

5 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

For topping:
2 1/2-3 cup honey
1/4 cup colored sprinkles or non parels or candied fruit pieces (more traditional but not my favorite)

For cooking:
3 cups vegetable oil

Let us begin:

In a large bowl pour flour and make a hole in to center.

Add eggs, egg yolk, shortening, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the hole.

Mix dough with hands until an even texture forms.

Lightly flour a working surface.

Gently shape 1/2 tsp size dough balls between palms of hands and place on floured surface to rest.

While these rest pour oil into a heavy bottom pot and heat to 370'.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack on top of it.

Once oil is heated, gently drop 6-8 balls in and allow to cook for 30-40 seconds until golden brown. Rotating once to brown evenly on both sides.

Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place on wire rack to allow oil to drip off.


Continue until all dough is fried.

When your all done with the frying.

In a larger pot place honey and gently melt over low-simmer.

Once honey has thinned out, approximately 3-5 minutes add the balls into the pot 1/2 at a time.

Stir to fully coat balls with honey.

Remove to serving or storage plate.

Once all balls are fried, pour extra honey over the top.

Serve and cheers!