Are you throwing a party soon? Or simply craving something scrumptious yet hassle-free?
These coconut balls call for less than 5 ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare, making the perfect treat for any season and occasion, including birthday parties… or to serve as an afternoon treat.
I made them for my daughter’s Frozen theme party and they were a hit!
I hope you give them a try and enjoy as much as we do!
What is Beijinho?
Beijinhos (singular beijinho or little kiss) mean literally in Portuguese ‘kisses’. They are coconut brigadeiros or a variation of the famous chocolate brigadeiros as many other docinhos (candies or sweets) in Brazil.
They have sweetened condensed milk and butter as the base. The flavoring ingredient (coconut, passion fruit, strawberry gelatin, cocoa powder, etc) is what gives each their name. Coconut is what names the doce beijinhos de coco (literal translation: coconut kisses).
Brazilians serve them as a treat for birthday parties but you can also give them away as Christmas gifts. If your child is crazy for FROZEN, you gotta make these!
I served them at my daughter’s 8th birthday party.
Although I was secretly rooting for her to choose RIO as the theme for her upcoming birthday party, she winded up choosing FROZEN… as many children did a few years ago.
Don’t you agree that they look like SNOWBALLS?
Ingredients and Substitutions
Brazilian coconut kisses (also known in Brazil as beijinhos de coco, beijinhos, or branquinhos) are traditionally made from a mixture of:
- Sweetened condensed milk: It is one of the main ingredients and what makes them fudgy when mixed and cooked with butter. If you want to make them dairy-free, use a dairy-free sweetened condensed milk and butter.
- Coconut flakes: You may use the unsweetened type, but the authentic Brazilian recipe calls for sweetened coconut flakes.
- Butter: You may replace it with coconut butter for a dairy-free treat.
- Egg yolks (OPTIONAL): Some beijinho recipes call for at least an egg yolk to make them richer in flavor and color. But it is optional!
- Vanilla extract (OPTIONAL): This is another optional ingredient but it makes these “candies” tastier.
After briefly cooking, they are rolled into balls, dredged in coconut flakes or sugar, and decorated with a single clove on top.
Does this sound familiar? The process of making them is similar to the ever-popular BRIGADEIROS (or Brazilian chocolate fudge balls)!!!
Coconut Kisses vs. Coconut Truffles
Although coconut kisses and coconut truffles are coconut balls, there is a difference between them.
Our Brazilian coconut kisses are technically a stovetop fudge -- and so not the same as truffles. Fudge calls for milk and sugar (or sweetened condensed milk) and butter while truffles are made of ganache (chocolate and heavy cream).
Either one can be coated in coconut flakes though.
Coconut balls are easy to make. The key to obtaining a fudgy texture without using a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage at 240 °F or 116 °C) is to cook them over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wooden spoon.
It takes about 5-8 minutes depending on the size of your pan and also the amount that you are going to make.
The mixture should be thick enough to reveal the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
After spreading the mixture onto a greased plate to cool completely, you can roll it into balls. If they get too soft to roll, you can chill in the fridge preferably before or after rolling into balls. It will help to firm them!
But anyway, you can always eat the coconut fudge mixture by spoons as we do in Brazil when they are too soft to roll into balls.
How to Roll Coconut Balls
When the beijinho de coco mixture has cooled completely, lightly grease your hands with unsalted butter to prevent the fudge mixture from sticking everywhere.
Then scoop out enough coconut fudge to form a ball using a tablespoon or teaspoon as measurement and roll between your hands into balls.
Place the shredded coconut in a separate plate. Roll the balls in shredded coconut until covered. Then place into bonbon paper cups. If you want, decorate the center of each coconut kiss with a whole clove.
How to make Brazilian coconut kisses (Beijinhos de Coco)
- To make our beijinho recipe, mix the condensed milk, coconut flakes, and butter together. For a richer flavor and color, mix in an egg yolk if you want. SEE PIC. 1
- Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wooden spoon (about 5-8 minutes). If you are using a sticky pan, cook it over medium-low heat for a longer time. SEE PICS. 2 and 3 The mixture should be thick enough to reveal the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
- When coconut kisses ‘dough’ is ready, remove from the heat, mix in the vanilla extract, and spread the mixture onto a greased plate. Use butter to grease the plate! SEE PIC. 4
- Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into small balls with greased hands. Use a ½ or 1 tablespoon as measurement. SEE PIC. 5
- Then, dredge gently in the coconut flakes until totally covered. Place into paper bonbon cups. Stick a whole clove atop (center) of each coconut kiss if desired.
NOTE: The clove is only for decoration and should be removed right before eating!!!
Store coconut kisses in a clean airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
This is one of those easy freezer recipes that can keep frozen for up to 2 months. Place the coconut balls in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 2 hours. Then transfer to a freezer bag or plastic container and lay them in one single layer.
Thaw in the fridge before dredging in coconut flakes and serving.
If you would like to infuse these coconut balls with the aroma of cloves, store the candies and cloves in the same container.
More coconut desserts:
- Coconut rolls
- Coconut sugar cookies
- Low carb coconut cookies
- Keto coconut ice cream
- Lemon coconut pound cake
- Mango coconut muffins
- Coconut flan
PIN & ENJOY!
Brazilian Coconut Kisses (Beijinhos de Coco)
- wooden spoon
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14-ounce or 396 g
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes plus more for dredging
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter softened (plus more for greasing a plate and your hands)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optional
- Cloves for garnishing optional
- Mix the condensed milk, coconut flakes, and butter together.
- Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes).
- When coconut kisses 'dough' is ready, remove from the heat, mix in the vanilla extract, and spread the mixture onto a greased plate.
- Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into balls with greased hands. Use a ½ Tablespoon as measurement. Then, dredge gently in the coconut flakes until totally covered.
- Place into paper bonbon cups. Stick a clove atop (center) of each coconut kiss if desired. The clove is only for decoration and must be removed right before eating!!!
- Love fudge? Try our Chocolate Fudge Balls (Brigadeiros)
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This post was first published on August 11, 2014.