Cookies, cookies, and more cookies!!! I cannot bear to eat or even look at a single one more…. Everyone is sharing cookie recipes…it seems that everybody is giving them away as holiday presents! It’s enough to make any cookie monster bored and grumpy. 🙂 Although I intended to share a typical Brazilian cookie recipe with you this week, I just couldn’t. If you are a cookie lover, please forgive me! Instead, I prepared a typical, festive Brazilian candy that will put a smile on your face: Camaféu de Nozes or Walnut Cameos. They are gorgeous, incredibly easy to make, scrumptious, and unique. Wouldn’t you be happy to open a gift box filled with them? They are definitely more delightful than cookies. 🙂 In addition, they are flourless (naturally gluten-free).
Camaféu de Nozes (literally translated as Walnut Cameo) is a walnut brigadeiro covered with melted “fondant” glaze and topped with a shelled walnut. This typical Brazilian treat (technically neither a candy nor a truffle) finds its inspiration in cameo jewelry, since its appearance is reminiscent of the carved trinkets whose artistry dates back as far as the 3rd century BC. As you can see, the food styling for these photos was inspired by a favorite carved cameo from my personal jewelry collection.
In Brazil, camaféu de nozes are traditionally served at weddings (sometimes as guest favors or sometimes to be enjoyed by guests after the wedding cake is served), and at other special occasions, too. I think camaféu de nozes are perfect for Christmas!!! Just look at them… they are alabaster white and decorated with a beautiful golden walnut on top. In fact they are made from walnuts, which along with other nuts are a traditional part of both Brazilian and American holiday tables.
They make the most unique and gorgeous edible jewelry Christmas presents, too. In fact, this is one of my presents to you!!! You will not find any other online recipe for camaféu de nozes or walnut cameos in either Portuguese or English more reliable or detailed than the one that I have worked out for you here. Pass it along! Delight your friends with a gift box filled with camaféu de nozes and wait for their puzzled yet happy reaction. For such a special occasion, believe me: Camaféu de nozes are the best!
Christmas is about traditions. You can start a new tradition… something different and more exciting than cookies! Although I do appreciate old traditions such as panettone, I also enjoy incorporating new ones at my table and making them my own. These camaféu de nozes are definitely my ultimate Christmas tradition. What is/are yours?
But that is not all!!!! Besides these camaféus de nozes or walnut cameos, I have another Christmas present for you: A $100 holiday debt relief GIVEAWAY. To find out more about this giveaway, please scroll down the page. Good luck!
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!!!!
To read more about the many variations of brigadeiro, please see here.
Camaféu de Nozes (Walnut Cameos)
- For the Camaféu de Nozes Dough:
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 oz or 396 g
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup shelled walnuts ground
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter plus extra for greasing, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 20 shelled walnuts to decorate top of the candies
- 1 Wilton gold color mist food spray, which is also available at local supermarkets (optional)
- For the "Fondant" Glaze:
- 17.5 ounces powdered sugar about 500 g
- 1/4 cup whole milk plus extra when necessary
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Prepare the camaféu de nozes dough: In a medium saucepan, combine the condensed milk, egg yolks, ground walnuts, and butter. Cook over medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened and bottom of the pan starts to show through when stirred (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour cooked mixture into a greased dish and let cool on a rack.
- Lightly grease hands with butter. Using a tablespoon as measure for each candy, roll into balls...
- then, pressing between two of your fingers, shape into slightly elongated, oval shaped treats...
- and finish by pressing down to flatten the top.
- Set aside on a lightly greased plate or surface.
- If you'd like to give the walnuts a golden color effect, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, arrange 20 walnuts in one single layer and spray each one of them with the edible gold food spray (we found this at Walmart in the cake decorating/wedding supply section near the crafts). Let color set at room temperature.
- To prepare the "fondant" glaze: Place the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice in a heat-resistant bowl. Whisk until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. Place bowl in a larger baking pan filled with boiling water (about 2 inches). Then, continue to whisk mixture until sugar has melted.
- With the aid of a fork, dip each camaféu de nozes into the "fondant" glaze, letting the the excess drip off.
- Place shelled walnut carefully on top while glaze has not yet set. Place treat(s) on a lightly greased surface or baking sheet (you may need to slide the glazed treat off onto the greased surface using the handle of a spoon or fork) and let glaze set. Note: You may need to stir in a few drops of milk whenever the fondant glaze starts to get too thick. But be careful not to add too much, or glaze will be too thin. If this happens, just whisk in a bit of powdered sugar. Please, keep glaze in the warm water bath at all times or it will harden. In addition, always clean the fork with a paper towel before dipping another walnut cameo/camaféu de nozes into the fondant glaze in order to prevent the fondant from becoming dirty with walnut cameo dough.
- Once glaze has set, carefully trim off excess glaze with a knife and transfer each camaféu de nozes to a bonbon cup.
Welcome to the Holiday Debt Relief $100 Cash Giveaway!
Disclaimer: This is a blogger sponsored post. Giveaway begins 12/19/13 at 1 am EST and ends 1/9/14 at 11:59 pm EST. Mommy Knows What’s Best is responsible for prize delivery. One entrant/email per household. One winner will be chosen randomly from Giveaway Tools. Void where prohibited. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the congratulatory email. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions, please email Marissa at MommyKnowsWhatsBest(at)gmail.com.