The Brigadeiro; the classic Brazilian confectionery is a small chocolate bonbon that is made with condensed milk and cocoa powder, heated and then rolled in chocolate sprinkles.The Beijnho, the sister candy of the Brigadeiro, is a bonbon that swaps the cocoa powder out for grated coconut.
To give the Brazilian section of Cookie Chronicles its due, I knew an homage to the Brigadeiro and the Beijnho was necessary. Combining the chocolate and coconut, turning the candy into a cookie and sticking as close to the traditional ingredients emerged as the three criteria for recipe development.
I started to search for recipes with a coconut base into which I could somehow mix chocolate. The coconut macaroon seemed like a natural starting point due to its ubiquity and the ability to mold into the size and shape of bonbons. Many of the recipes I found called for coconut and egg whites or coconut and almond paste. Neither egg whites nor almond paste are ingredients in the candies so I moved on. Eventually, I found a recipe labelled ‘coconut macaroon’ that called for sweetened condensed milk instead of egg whites or almond paste. Although I think any French person would find the labeling of this cookies as a macaroon incorrect and abhorrent; this recipe was a match for my purposes. I added 3 T of cocoa powder and dipped in melted chocolate after baking and cooling.
The result was exactly what I wanted: a pastry that is definitely a cookie but mimics the density of a candy and honors both the chocolate and coconut trademarks of the Brigadiero and Beijnho. Enjoy with coffee or white wine.
1/3 cup AP flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2.5 cups sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup sweetened, condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 T unsalted butter
For the cookies…
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Mix until the coconut is covered with cocoa powder.
3) Pour in the milk and add the vanilla. Stir together until well mixed and formed a very thick batter.
4) Drop by mounded teaspoonfuls onto the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
5) In a microwave safe container, melt chocolate and butter together until smooth. Microwave on high in 20 second intervals, mixing in between intervals.
6) Dip the bottom of the cookie into the chocolate so it covers the bottom. Shake slightly and then place the cookie on a wire rack. Allow the chocolate to harden before storing.
Makes around 48 cookies.