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5-Ingredient Coffee Fudge Cups (Brigadeiro Mole de Café)

Coffee Fudge Cups (Brigadeiro Mole de Café) is a quick and comforting Brazilian dessert made with staple ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and heavy cream.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OfrendasConNestle #NestleKitchen #CollectiveBias

The Day of the Dead is coming up.  In several western countries, especially Mexico, Central, and South America, it is a day to pray for and remember friends and family members who have departed. Food and beverages make up a vital part of the tradition. To celebrate this day, we have prepared  quick yet comforting and delicious Coffee Fudge Cups, known in Brazil as Brigadeiro Mole de Café.  It is truly one of those must-have treats!

Growing up in Brazil, I remember going to the cemeteries to visit my departed ancestors every November 2nd, which is a national public holiday there known as Dia de Finados in Portuguese, Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, or Day of the Dead in English.

This is the yearly date on the calendar that we honor their memory by bringing flowers and candles to their graves and tombs… as well as praying and singing hymns in favor of their souls.  In Brazil it is a sober gathering, charged with a feeling of deeply nostalgic longing (saudade).  Some would share a kind story about the departed, while others could not contain their tears.

Later on in the day, people usually attend a Catholic mass in honor of the dead, and afterwards eat one or more comforting dishes such as our Coffee Fudge Cups.  In contrast to some other Latin American countries, we don’t have a standard set of traditional foods to celebrate the date.  The dishes vary from person to person– whatever most speaks of comfort, remembrance, and celebration of a life well lived.  Mine has always been flavored brigadeiros, such as the one that we are sharing the recipe for today.

I do, however, remember coffee being a national staple– pretty much served in just about every household.  At my Grandma’s, who was of Portuguese descent, coffee would come accompanied by buttered, toasted French bread, eggs, a typical Northeast Brazilian cheese, coffee cakes, and sometimes a sweet treat such as caramel flan. At my Mom’s, chocolate or any related treat (e.g. brigadeiros) was the treat for the kids.  After all, children also need comfort on such an emotional day.

If you live in Mexico or the United States, you may be used to different traditions. After living in the U.S. for more than 15 years and having many Mexican friends, I came to understand both the differences and similarities of the day in those countries.

Although it is a public holiday both in Mexico and Brazil, in which we pray for and remember the dead, the differences are remarkable. The first notable difference starts with the dates. In Mexico it is a three-day event: On October 31 (All Hallows Eve), the children make a children’s altar to invite the spirits of departed children to return for a visit. On November 1 (All Saints Day), the adult spirits would supposedly pay a visit. On November 2 (All Souls Day), families decorate their relatives’ tombs in the cemetery.

Second, Dia de los Muertos in Mexico is a fiesta that includes building private altars using skulls, marigold flowers, tissue decorations, incense, the deceased’s possessions, and also their favorite food and beverages (bread of the dead, sugar skulls, fruits, nuts, etc).  It is not a somber event, but rather something to celebrate the beautiful life that the departed had — one of the reasons why it can even take a humorous tone as some remember funny events about the dead.

As you can see, different traditions to celebrate the same event… but both filled with love and memories of those who made our lives a magnificent event.

Well, Nestlé, beloved by many generations in Brazil, has long been a part of my life… producing ingredients that make this and many other events special. As my family and I gather to share great memories and honor our loved ones, we enjoy these delicious gluten-free Coffee Fudge Cups.

They are prepared on the stovetop with only 5 required ingredients — a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter, cocoa powder,  NESCAFÉ® CLÁSICO™ Coffee  (100% pure coffee), and heavy whipping cream.

Believe it or not, our treat is cooked within 10 minutes.  All that one has to do is basically combine all the ingredients (except the heavy cream) in a pan, and stir constantly until until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a wood spoon.

Then, the heavy cream is whisked in and the mixture is poured into cups. After cooling, our Coffee Fudge Cups are traditionally topped with chocolate sprinkles or alternatively, can be topped with chocolate chips such as NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (no artificial flavors or colors).

And here comes the final touch. Our table was adorned with BUTTERFINGER® Peanut Butter Cups Skulls (no artificial flavors or colors) resembling the traditional sugar skulls– a mix of Brazilian and Mexican traditions.  That is why understanding and appreciation for different cultures makes life so much richer! 😉

I loved the convenience of being able to purchase all the products right from the Walmart. And so will you! The NESCAFÉ® CLÁSICO™ Coffee is available in the Coffee aisle, the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels in the baking aisle, and the BUTTERFINGER® Peanut Butter Cups Skulls in the seasonal/holiday aisle.

Well, what are your traditions? I would love to hear all about them, including your favorite food recipes to celebrate the date.

For my fellow Brazilians, may the day bring saudades of those who are no longer among us in the flesh… For my Mexican and Mexican-American friends, Happy Dia de los Muertos!

TO PIN TILL YOU DROP:


Print Recipe
5-Ingredient Coffee Fudge Cups
Coffee Fudge Cups (Brigadeiro Mole de Café) is a quick and comforting Brazilian dessert made with 5 staples ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and heavy cream. 
Coffee-Fudge-Cups, Brigadeiro-Mole-de-Cafe
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people (or more depending on the size of the serving cup)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people (or more depending on the size of the serving cup)
Coffee-Fudge-Cups, Brigadeiro-Mole-de-Cafe
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Whisk the condensed milk, cocoa powder, and instant coffee together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (without lumps of cocoa powder). Then, stir in the butter. Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium-low to medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). The chocolate fudge mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
  2. Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium-low to medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). The chocolate fudge mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again. Stir in the heavy cream, stirring constantly, until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (about 1 minute).
  3. When chocolate fudge is ready, divide mixture into mini tea cups or shot glasses and let cool completely. Then, sprinkle chocolate sprinkles on top or alternatively, chocolate chips. Serve these Coffee Fudge Cups chilled or at room temperature, and enjoy by the spoonful.
Continue Reading 6

Brazilian Corn Chowder (Sopa de Milho Verde)

Brazilian corn chowder is a quick, easy, and hearty chunky soup made with corn, potatoes, yogurt, and other simple gluten-free ingredients, which can be served with hot Italian sausage if desired.

Disclosure: I have NOT received any monetary compensation for this post. However, a Brazilian soapstone pot was given as a present to me… a pot that I am absolutely in love with on account of its beauty and great heat-retaining qualities.

Along with the cool fall weather comes the need for some warm, comforting dishes, including this quick and hearty Brazilian Corn ChowderSopa de Milho Verde in Portuguese. If you have ever tasted an American Corn Chowder, I know you will become a fan of our soup.

Brazilian-corn-chowder

It is quite simple to prepare, requiring no special skills. All one has to do is to cook diced onions and minced garlic in vegetable oil, add chicken or vegetable broth, chunks of potatoes and corn kernels, stir in salt and pepper, and let the soup cook for about 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Milk, cream or yogurt is blended with the cooked soup in a blender until creamy. Reserved corn kernels are added to the blended soup, and the corn chowder is served warm with a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives and chunks of cooked Italian hot sausage (if desired).

Unlike typical American corn chowders, our soup is gluten-free.  Potatoes are used as the thickening agent instead of  a roux (i.e. a mixture of flour and butter cooked together). Our Brazilian corn chowder doesn’t call for bacon like its American cousin. It is vegetarian — although spicy Italian sausage (linguiça calabresa) can be used to  garnish the top of the soup, if desired.

brazilian-corn-chowder-sopa-de-milho-verde-by-denise-browning-fbty

The extra advantage is, Brazilian corn chowder is easier to prepare and lighter than its American counterpart — yet very flavorful.

As a side note, there is more than one version of this soup — with variations in ingredients and textures. Some versions are creamy like a bisque while others, such as ours, are chunky like a chowder.

ABOUT THE POT:

This time our Brazilian corn chowder was prepared in the exquisite soapstone pot that you see in the photos — which, by the way, I am madly in love with…

… and not just on account of the pot’s beauty (which makes it possible to serve your dish at the table straight from the pot).

This pot is also high-quality, folks! It was handcrafted from a single block of natural, non-toxic soapstone, allowing it to withstand temperatures up to 1000°C (1832 degrees F). That’s right!  Its thick and dense walls retain heat twice as long as conventional metal cookware.  That makes it ideal for frying!!!

But that’s not all!  It can be also used in the oven, on the stovetop, or on the grill. It is just not suitable for microwave use due to the copper handles.

This works so well as a serving utensil because it is beautiful and retains heat for a long period of time, making life easier and less messy.

Soapstone pots are sold in more than one size and are proudly handcrafted in my home country, Brazil. They are “one of the oldest culinary traditions in Brazil, where they are known as Panelas de Pedra Sabão.  They are widely used in homes, and have been for centuries– ever since they first started crafting them in the Ouro Preto region of Minas Gerais. In fact, many restaurants in Brazil, especially in the State of Minas Gerais, use them for their buffets.”

Brazilian-corn-chowder

To find out more information about how to cure, care for, and use this type of pot, as well as to feast your eyes on other gorgeous cookware from Brazil and other countries from around the world, please visit the site of Ancient Cookware — a family-owned company based in Miami.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Our Brazilian corn chowder was a hit — as well as the phenomenal pot in which was both cooked and served.

brazilian-corn-chowder-sopa-de-milho-verde-for-pinterest-fbty

I hope that you enjoy both — the soup and the pot!!!

Stay warm!

 

Print Recipe
Brazilian Corn Chowder
Brazilian corn chowder is a quick, easy and hearty chunky soup made with corn, potatoes, yogurt, and other simple gluten-free ingredients, which can be served with hot Italian sausage if desired.
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
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Course Entrée
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Entrée
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
You:
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Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sweat the onion for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the potato chunks, 2 1/4 cups of the corn kernels, salt and pepper; stir.
  3. Let cook for about 12 minutes or until potato is fork tender. Blend soup with the yogurt or heavy cream in a blender until creamy. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  4. Add the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels and serve while soup is warm. It can be garnished on top with chunks of cooked sausage and chopped fresh chives.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading 5

Creamy Pineapple Coconut Cocktail (Batida de Abacaxi com Coco)

The Olympic Games will take place between August 5 and 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!  For two weeks, athletes from 207 countries from around the world will be competing for a gold medal in 28 different sporting events. And we will be cheering for our favorite team(s) with this super refreshing Creamy Pineapple Coconut Cocktail, known as a Batida de Abacaxi com Coco in Portuguese… a winning drink typical of the host state of this year’s Summer Olympics.

Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail

Batida means ‘shaken’ or ‘milkshake’ and is a Brazilian cocktail made from a blend of one or more fruits of your choice, sweetened condensed milk, ice, and cachaça Brazil’s national distilled spirit. Our pineapple coconut cocktail incorporates frozen pineapple chunks, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cachaça, and ice… all blended smooth in a blender.  Vodka can be used instead of cachaça, which has limited availability outside of Brazil. In fact, if you prefer cocktails on the lighter side, use vodka to replace that Brazilian alcoholic spirit.

Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail

Sipping this pineapple coconut cocktail is like drinking an adult tropical milkshake. It is fruity, creamy, smooth, sassy, and so delicious! 😉 Batidas (plural for batida) are a staple in the bars of both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and they are available in many different flavors — such as lemon, passion fruit, coconut, guava, mango, and pineapple. Many exotic fruit combinations are served too — such as pineapple coconut.

Pineapple by Denise Browning

Batida has not spread in Brazil to the same extent as other drinks like the caipirinha but it is appreciated enough to sometimes replace caipirinha when serving feijoada, a black bean and pork stew considered Brazil’s national dish.

One interesting thing is that the word batida also means a “crash,” and is the usual term to refer to a car crash. The drink can be quite amazing, but due to its alcoholic content must be ingested cautiously — it could make you crash on a bench or something worse. The word can also refer to a musical beat — and the drink may get you shaking to its delicious tropical feel, too. 😉

Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail

If you plan on traveling to attend this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio,  while you are there you can’t miss out on having this Rio de Janeiran (Carioca) special treat– and if you aren’t traveling to the Games, no worries!  You can still raise your glass and celebrate your team with this happy pineapple coconut cocktail. Cheers!

Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail

Print Recipe
Creamy Pineapple Coconut Cocktail (Batida de Abacaxi com Coco)
A traditional Brazilian alcoholic milkshake-like drink made from a blend of pineapple chunks, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, ice, and cachaça ( or vodka).
Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Drinks
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Drinks
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Creamy-pineapple-coconut-cocktail
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
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Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into ice-filled glasses and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

If you would like to, you can add 1/4 cup granulated sugar for more sweetness. It is very important for this pineapple coconut cocktail to be served immediately in order for it not to become bitter.
For a virgin version, replace the cachaça /vodka with sparkling water.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading 5

Beef and Bulgur Wheat Cheeseburger (Kibe X-Tudo)

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Flatout Bread and Society Culinaria. Thank you, friends, for supporting the brands that I work with and love! 

When you think about street food, what springs to mind? Kibbeh Cheeseburger (Kibe X-Tudo) is one Brazilian dish that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. But instead of just dreaming, I brought it to reality for my big ole mouth. 😉 It is none other than a tall beef and bulgur wheat cheeseburger with several delicious and fresh toppings…

Beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo

… but the composition of the patty is what makes this chubby burger quite special. Ground beef combined with bulgur or cracked wheat (a binding ingredient that gives a nice crust to the patty), salt, pepper, cumin, lime juice, red onion, parsley and refreshing mint make this ONE UNFORGETTABLE burger patty.

Ingredients-beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo

Of course, fresh leaves and vegetables, crumbled feta cheese, hummus… and especially a 5 Grain Flax Flatout Foldit Artisan Flatbread of just 90 calories all complete the package (meaning the burger) deliciously.  It is summer food perfection delivered with every bite!

Flatout-bread

I used a flatbread instead of a regular burger bun or pita pocket, because it contains less calories and carbs, and is a blank canvas. It’s the perfect partner for helping people of all ages to make healthier choices… and helping us all to prepare extraordinary dishes without fuss. Actually, every Flatout flatbread variety is low in fat, a good source of fiber, and of course perfect for burgers and sandwiches, wraps, pinwheels, and pizzas.

All ingredients are available at your local supermarket, but you can use this store locator to see where Flatout bread is available near you.

This must-have Southeastern Brazilian kibbeh cheeseburger has its roots in of our most popular immigrant cuisines: namely, Lebanese cuisine. In Brazil, our so-called kibe x-tudo sandwich is stuffed with a torpedo-shaped fried croquette made with basically the same ingredients as our pan-fried patty… and served in a pita bread pocket with fresh vegetables, hummus, and cheese. Despite a few tweaks that we made, you can still have the same experience as ordering a kibbeh cheeseburger from a snack shack or street stand in Brazil — but all without leaving home.  😉

Beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo

Yes, we brought the best of Brazil’s street food… to you!

Now sit on your patio, open your mouth wide, and enjoy… because, my friend, there is no burger like this beef and bulgur wheat cheeseburger!

Beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo

Grab yourself a chilled beverage too, and have a happy summer!

Beef and Bulgur Wheat Cheeseburger (Kibe X-Tudo) by Denise Browning (4) -- FromBrazilToYou.Org

Print Recipe
Beef and Bulgur Wheat Cheeseburger (Kibe X-Tudo)
Beef and Bulgur Wheat Cheeseburger, also known as Kibbeh Cheeseburger, has a chubby patty made from a mixture of ground beef, cracked wheat, spices, red onion, parsley, and mint. One of the tastiest burgers ever!
Beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Course Cheeseburger
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Cheeseburger
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Beef-and-bulgur-wheat-cheeseburger, Kibbeh-cheeseburger, kibe-x-tudo
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Place bulgur or cracked wheat in a small bowl and stir in about 1/3 cup boiling water. Let sit for about 10 minutes or until water is fully absorbed by the wheat. Then, press the wheat in a colander to remove any excess water.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the wheat well with the ground beef, seasonings, drops of lime juice, red onion, mint, and parsley. Shape into a chubby burger patty and then cook over medium heat (large burner) for about 4 minutes per side.
  3. On a plate or flat surface, arrange the burger: lay flatbread open, spread hummus on (bottom), place salad leaves on top and then arrange 1/2 of the slices of tomato and cucumber. Place cooked burger patty on top. Arrange the remaining slices of tomato and cucumber on top of the patty, spoon on the cheese, and finish by spreading more hummus on the top section of flatbread. Cover the burger with the top flatbread. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over the patty if desired, chips, and a chilled beverage. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

No egg, cornstarch, or any other binding ingredient is necessary to form the burger patty because of the bulgur wheat. The bulgur/cracked wheat will give the patty a nice crust.

 

Continue Reading 6

Brazilian Peanut Brittle (Pé de Moleque)

The June Festivals (Festas Juninas) are already underway in Brazil… and Father’s Day will also be commemorated this Sunday. Brazilian Peanut Brittle, known as  Pé de Moleque, was our pick to make these two dates memorable. It is simple to make yet is sweet, nutty, buttery, and hearty… a true party for the mouth!

Brazilian-peanut-brittle

This brittle is a typical treat during these Brazilian festivities… as well as something that would make Dad happy to receive or to be served.

The Brazilian version is similar to the American, although nuttier… and this specific recipe is quite a bit more buttery.  It incorporates more peanuts and, of course, lots of butter, which gives the blond color to our brittle.

Brazilian-peanut-brittle

There are many different versions of Pé de Moleque (Brazilian peanut brittle) — with differences in ingredients, color (ranging from blond to a deep dark caramel), and cut/shape. In addition, baking soda was also added to our recipe to make the brittle crack nicely even in hot and humid weather like we have been having lately in Texas.

Brazilian Peanut Brittle -- Pé de Moleque (4)

If you are planning an authentic festa junina, make our Brazilian peanut brittle, as well as some corn dishes such as bolo de milho (corn bundt cake), curau (sweet corn pudding), pamonha de forno (gluten-free creamy corn cake)… and cocada (Brazilian coconut bars). Wash them all down with quentão (Brazilian mulled wine)… dance quadrilha to the lively sound of forró music beneath a tent brightly decorated with colored flags and sky lanterns.  And don’t forget the fireworks!

Now then, if you would love to treat Dad like a king, present him with this super delish brittle and serve him some of these 20 guy-pleasing dishes. Tell me, whose Dad wouldn’t go crazy for a humongous burger, finger-licking pork ribs, hearty steak and eggs, breakfast pizza, or barbecue? 😉

20 Guy-Pleasing Dishes for Father's Day!!!

Wishing all of you a fun festa junina… and to all our fabulous Dads a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  You guys rock!

Brazilian Peanut Brittle -- Pé de Moleque (5)

Print Recipe
Brazilian Peanut Brittle (Pé de Moleque)
Brazilian peanut brittle is similar to American brittle, except nuttier and more buttery The baking soda helps it to crack nicely even when made during hot and humid weather.
Brazilian-peanut-brittle
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brazilian-peanut-brittle
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Instructions
  1. Grease the bottom of a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, salt, and light corn syrup in a large non-stick saucepan. Cook over medium heat (large burner), stirring slowly and constantly with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. As soon as the butter is completely melted and the mixture reaches a pale yellow color, add the peanuts and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  3. Cook for 13-15 minutes, stirring constantly or until caramel has thickened and peanuts stick onto each other -- as opposed to falling immediately off the lifted wooden spoon.
  4. Remove mixture from heat and stir in both the vanilla and baking soda until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. Pour mixture immediately onto the greased baking sheet. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and spread the brittle thin using a rolling pan. Be careful to not get burned. Let the peanut brittle cool completely at room temperature before breaking into 2-inch pieces with your hands. Enjoy!
  5. STORAGE: Store in a large Ziploc bag or an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2-3 weeks.
Recipe Notes

There are many different versions of Pé de Moleque (Brazilian peanut brittle) -- with differences in ingredients, color (ranging from a blond to a deep dark caramel), and cut/shape. Our is blond because it incorporates more butter. Baking soda was also added to the recipe to make the brittle crack nicely even in hot and humid whether.

 

Continue Reading 10

Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars (Palha Italiana)

You can tell the love Brazilians have for brigadeiros by the number of treats that they make out of it. These Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars, known both as Palha Italiana (Italian Straw) or Palha Brasileira (Brazilian Straw) in Brazil, is part of the wide array of sweets made from brigadeiro. The difference is, chopped cookies are added into the equation, resulting in one of the easiest and most exquisite fudgy-chewy-crunchy sweet creations.  If you have never tried these, don’t miss your chance.

Chocolate-fudge-cookie-bars

Despite the name “Italian Straw,” these chocolate fudge and cookie bars are truly a Brazilian confection made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, unsalted butter, and chopped cookies (we use Maizena cookies in Brazil but you can use animal crackers, vanilla wafers known as Nilla cookies, Maria cookies, or any other similar cookie of your choice).

All one needs to do is to mix sweetened condensed milk with cocoa powder and butter, and cook until it reaches a brigadeiro consistency. Then, mix in the chopped cookies, place the fudge and cookie mixture into a baking pan, and refrigerate until set. Before serving, cut into squares or rectangles, and sift powdered sugar on top– at least that is the traditional way of finishing Palha Italiana or Palha Brasileira.

Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars -- Palha Italiana

But because I enjoy adding my own special touch to things, I topped mine with chocolate ganache (a mixture of melted chocolate chips and heavy cream) and garnished with fresh raspberries and a drizzle of melted white chocolate instead of simply topping the bars with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars or Palha Italiana

The reason why I put my own spin on this traditional treat is because of the season. I summered up my bars with fresh berries… and that made them even more interesting flavorwise. The acidity of the berries complements well the richness of the fudge.

But as you can see, you can enjoy them both ways — the traditional way topped with powdered sugar, or the modern way with berries. My advice is to try both and see what you like best.

You may still be asking why these bars were name “Italian” straw since there is no such treat in Italy. To tell the truth, no one knows. We can only speculate that it might be because they were adapted from a well-known Italian confection, the salame di cioccolato (chocolate salami). Take a look at chocolate salami and you will understand their resemblance.

Of course, this wouldn’t be truly Brazilian unless we adapted the recipe to our sweet tooth… and brigadeiro, a national passion, happened to be the perfect candidate for replacing melted dark chocolate, eggs, and liquor from the chocolate salami.

There is only one problem… Our chocolate fudge and cookie bars are too well suited for both adults and children. My husband and children could not refrain themselves… and neither could I. We took care of this treat too fast. We became so addicted that there was a squabble over the last piece. I am sorry but I am not ashamed to say that I won the dispute. 🙂

Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars (Palha Italiana)...

My advice is make them both ways, hide some, and enjoy them by yourself. Trying to contain yourself will be an act of pure bravery. 🙂

Please, don’t forget to share the outcome with us. 😉

Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars or Palha Italiana by Denise Browning

Print Recipe
Chocolate Fudge and Cookie Bars
Chocolate fudge and cookie bars easily made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and store-bought cookies.
Chocolate-fudge-cookie-bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert/Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chocolate-fudge-cookie-bars
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Instructions
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, whisk the condensed milk and cocoa powder together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (without lumps of cocoa powder). Then, stir in the melted butter.
  2. Cook mixture over medium-low to medium heat (large burner), stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to peel away or show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 10-15 minutes). The chocolate fudge mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again. Mix in the vanilla extract if desired.
  3. brigadeiro
  4. Remove pan from the heat, add the chopped cookies, and mix them together with a wooden spoon until cookies are completely mixed in the chocolate fudge mixture.
  5. Line a 8 x 8-inch pan with a greased sheet of heavy duty aluminum or with plastic wrap, allowing it to overlap 2 opposite sides.
  6. Place mixture into the lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula, making sure mixture is level. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or until set. Right before serving, lift the foil or plastic, place on a flat surface, cut into squares or rectangles, and sift powdered sugar on top of each bar. This is the traditional treat.
  7. If you would like to top them with chocolate ganache and berries instead of powdered sugar, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwavable bowl and microwave on medium power for about 1 minute. Stir together well and microwave again until chocolate has melted. Whisk well until obtaining a smooth mixture/ganache. Spread chocolate ganache on top of the fudge and cookie bars (without the powdered sugar), place raspberries on top, drizzle melted white chocolate, and refrigerate until ganache is set. Serve chilled and enjoy! YIELD: 10 or more depending of the size of each bar.

 

 

Continue Reading 11

Kitchen Blender Pepperoni Pizza (No knead, No Fuss)

I don’t know about in your country, but in Brazil we use the kitchen blender for almost everything, including for making pizza dough. That’s right! I hope you are at least curious because today we will be making a no knead, no fuss, super quick kitchen blender pepperoni pizza (or pizza de liquidificador)… using ingredients that everyone has in their pantry.

Kitchen Blender Pepperoni Pizza ( Pizza de liquidificador)

For this recipe, you will need to blend whole milk, an egg, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in the blender and then pour into a greased pizza pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, top with your favorite tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, and then bake again until the cheese is melted.  And that’s it! See how easy it is?

Kitchen Blender Pepperoni Pizza (Pizza de Liquidificador) -- No Knead

Another advantage of this kitchen blender pepperoni pizza is that you won’t have to put your hands in the dough… yes, you heard that right, this is no knead pizza, all without spending  big bucks.

The result? A delicious thick crust pizza with a popular topping that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.  After all, making a delicious pizza has never been so easy, right?

But don’t worry… if you don’t have a blender, you can easily mix the ingredients by hand… if you don’t have a pizza pan, use a baking sheet… and if you are not a fan of pepperoni, feel free to create your own topping. And yes, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. As you can see, there is no excuse for not trying this at home. 🙂

In Brazil we call it pizza de preguiçoso (lazy man’s pizza)… that may be the case, but it makes one’s life much, much easier and quicker.  Mothers and busy bees take note!

Kitchen Blender Pepperoni Pizza (Pizza de liquidificador)

Now tell me, who out there is lazy like me? 🙂

 

Print Recipe
Kitchen Blender Pepperoni Pizza (No knead, No Fuss)
A no fuss, no knead, quick kitchen blender pepperoni pizza that is also economical and super delicious to make at home. Dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Kitchen-blender-pepperoni-pizza
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Main
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Kitchen-blender-pepperoni-pizza
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a blender, blend together the milk, butter, egg, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the flour, little by little, and blend until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. You may have to stop the blender a few times to mix with a wooden spoon and loosen flour from the sides of the blender. Once everything is well beaten, add the baking powder and stir well to incorporate it to the mixture.
  3. Pour batter into a butter greased pizza pan and spread with a spatula. Make sure to form a thin layer of dough. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pizza crust from the the oven, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on top, top with the cheese and pepperoni. Bake again --- this time for 10-15 minutes. Serve with oregano leaves on top (and red pepper flakes if desired). Yield: 1 (16-inch) pizza or 2 (8-inch) pizzas.
Recipe Notes

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLENDER: Mix ingredients by hand using a wooden spoon.
TOPPING: You can also create you own!!!
STORAGE: Pizza dough can be baked for 10 minutes, allowed to cool, wrapped, and then frozen for up to 3 months.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading 17

Chicken Fricassée with Shoestring Potatoes (Fricassé de Frango com Batata Palha)

Fricassée is a French dish but that doesn’t mean Brazilians can’t have their own version — a much simplified and quicker version, transformed into a complete “one pot” meal.  Busy or not, you must try this Brazilian chicken fricassée (fricassé de frango) — which is topped with shoestring potatoes!  😉

Brazilian-chicken-fricassee

The French version basically consists of poultry cut into pieces, gently sautéed in oil or some other type of fat, deglazed with wine, and then stewed in gravy. It is a white stew — without any browning or caramelization.  It was said to have been one of Abraham Lincoln‘s favorite dishes.

The Brazilian version is much simpler to prepare, as I mentioned earlier. Boiled chicken is shredded, quickly heated in a blended, creamy mixture of heavy cream, cream cheese, and corn, topped with cheese and shoestring potatoes, and then baked.  The result? Both a time-saving and crowd-pleasing dish!

Brazilian-chicken-fricassee

But Brazil isn’t the only country in the world to create a version of the dish. In the Spanish Caribbean, pollo en fricasé (chicken fricassee) incorporates a tomato-based sauce and red wine. 

I am not a country, but I also have my own version. 🙂 It is the Brazilian version, of course, but with a couple of modifications based on my family’s taste preferences. First, corn is not blended into the heavy cream/cream cheese mixture; instead whole corn kernels are simply added to the stew in order not to overpower the creamy sauce. Second, shoestring potatoes are added as a topping to the chicken fricassée — but only after it is removed from the oven (to keep the potatoes from getting too browned and soggy). If desired, chopped fresh parsley or cilantro can be sprinkled on top right before serving.

Parsley by Denise Browning

My advice? Try both the traditional Brazilian version and also mine. Even better, giving it your own personal twist could be a real plus. After all, a great dish can always become better.

Brazilian-chicken-fricassée

Enjoy and have a great Spring break (my children are already super-excited!).

P.S: What are your plans?

Print Recipe
Chicken Fricassée with Shoestring Potatoes
Shredded chicken, quickly heated in a blended, creamy mixture of heavy cream, cream cheese, and corn, topped with cheese and shoestring potatoes, and then baked.
Fricassé-de-Frango-com-Batata-Palha
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Course Main
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Course Main
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Fricassé-de-Frango-com-Batata-Palha
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Boil chicken in either chicken stock or water with salt and ground black pepper until fully cooked. Remove from the liquid, let cool enough to handle, and roughly shred. Place into a medium pot and reserve.
  3. Blend heavy cream, corn, and cream cheese in a blender until obtaining a thick, creamy, homogeneous mixture. You may need to stop blender more than once and stir. Pour over the chicken, add the sliced olives, salt and pepper to taste, and cook mixture on medium heat, stirring, for 2-4 minutes.
  4. Place mixture into a medium baking dish, top evenly with the shredded cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the shoestring potatoes. Serve by itself, with white rice, or a fresh salad. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

1. My personal preference is to add about 1/2 cup whole corn kernels to the creamy heavy cream/cream cheese sauce instead of blending corn in it -- because I think the blended corn overpowers the creamy sauce.
2. Many add the shoestring potatoes before baking the dish. Instead, I prefer to add them only after removing the dish from the oven -- preventing potatoes to become too browned and saggy.

 

 

 

Continue Reading 14

Ham and Cheese Baked Rice (Arroz de Forno Misto)

A ham and cheese baked rice casserole to make dinner a delicious yet easy task.

Are you a fan of ham and cheese sandwiches?  Me too! But what if I told you there is much more that you can do with that combo? This “one-baking dish” Ham and Cheese Baked Rice Casserole is just one of those dishes — and even better, is dinner made easy… with the added plus of leftovers, if desired. 😉

Ham-and-cheese-baked-rice-casserole, Arroz-de-forno-misto

Grab a bowl. Mix cooked rice with heavy cream, egg yolks, seasonings, ham, cheese, and a few veggies. Place rice mixture into a baking dish… and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, go to Facebook or read your favorite magazine. Voilá! Dinner will be ready in the blink of an eye.

I know… This dish has everything, including the taste of life made easier for busy moms/full-time workers like us.

Ham-and-cheese-baked-rice-casserole, Arroz-de-forno-misto

Our ham and cheese baked rice casserole (or arroz de forno misto) and its many variations are popular dishes in Brazil — not only for busy weeknight meals but also for those lazy weekends. First of all, it doesn’t require any special skill from the cook. Second, it is a complete meal all by itself.  Third, it is able to take care of those leftovers while transforming them into a delicious meal.

It may not have “one-pot” or “one-skillet” in its name, but it is definitely part of that same family. It also makes the list of dishes that are naturally gluten-free.

Ham-and-cheese-baked-rice-casserole, Arroz-de-forno-misto

Chicken, bacon, sausage, and shredded jerked beef are just a few of the many variations that Brazilians make use of to transform the basic dish into a new one. In addition, if you choose a different type of rice, such as wild rice, as well as another type of meat, cheese, or vegetable, you can repeat the same recipe yet give it a new name and face.  Basically, the only thing you would need to keep constant would be the yolks, heavy cream, salt and pepper.

To make baked rice casseroles even creamier, Brazilians love to add requeijão (Brazilian cream cheese) to the recipe — although it is not required. We do just because, you know, you can never have too much cheese. 🙂

I will leave you now with the formula to one hero of a dish, and to your much-deserved rest.

Ham-and-cheese-baked-rice-casserole, Arroz-de-forno-misto

Print Recipe
Ham and Cheese Baked Rice Casserole
A ham and cheese baked rice casserole to make dinner a delicious yet easy task.
Arroz-de-forno-misto
Votes: 12
Rating: 3.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Arroz-de-forno-misto
Votes: 12
Rating: 3.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease with softened butter and then flour (it can be a gluten-free one) a medium baking dish; set aside. NOTE: If desired, you can place chunks of onion and carrot plus 1 cup of fresh parsley into a food processor and process until obtaining small pieces -- to avoid having to chop them by hand.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks with the heavy cream. Add the onion, carrot, 1 cup of chopped parsley, salt and pepper, mozzarella, ham, and rice. Stir with a wooden spoon until obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Place rice mixture into the greased/floured baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Bake, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped parsley on top and serve. Enjoy!

 

Continue Reading 18

Brazilian Fried Chicken Bites (Frango a Passarinho)

What is going to be celebrated in Brazil from the 5th to 10th of this month? Carnival!!! What are we all going to be watching in the U.S. soon?  The Super Bowl! With two important events on the way, Brazilian fried chicken bites are the ideal appetizer for letting you eat well while having lots of fun.

Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites

Translated literally as ‘little birdie chicken’, frango a passarinho is a typical Brazilian appetizer consisting of small cuts of chicken marinated with lime juice and seasonings, breaded with a mixture of flour and cornmeal, and deep fried in oil.  Later on, they are topped with a mixture of toasted garlic, olive oil, and chopped parsley and served accompanied by chilled beer (chope gelado). They are tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites

The funny name for the dish is due to the wide availability of a small breed of chicken at the birth of this dish many decades ago, whose small size produced cuts ideal for an appetizer.  The dish became so popular that small cuts of today’s larger chickens can now be purchased uncooked in bags at local supermarkets in Brazil, under the same name as the dish.

Frango a passarinho is a must all year round at every bar in São Paulo, as well as many places in the rest of the country– where these chicken fried bites are usually served either by themselves, on a bed of salad leaves, or accompanied by French fries. Calorie count?  Forget about it!  This is a dish for pure enjoyment — whether you have been dancing like wild on the streets for hours or not…

Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites

… and you know what?  Although samba may be the music that first comes to many people’s mind during this fun time of the year, it is not the only one heard across Brazil. Frevo, axé, maracatu and many other rhythms take Carnival to a whole new level.  In a large, diverse country like Brazil, rhythms and costumes vary from one region to another.

In the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, for example, samba is a time-honored tradition at huge, organized parades led by samba schools… On the other hand, in some Northeastern cities like Recife and Olinda, frevo and maracatu (influenced by local folklore and cultural manifestations), are the main rhythms at the largest street parades, with their festive giant dolls and colorful umbrellas. But that’s not all!  In the centuries old Northeastern city of Salvador, the public dances to the beat of Afro-Brazilian axé rhythms played by trio elétricos (mobile soundstages that are driven through the streets).

Everywhere you go, regardless of the different rhythms that one encounters, Carnival is an event of mega proportions.  Appetizers such as these fried chicken bites are widely consumed, all washed down with lots of beer, guaraná soda, and other cold energy drinks.

Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites

One thing is sure: whether you are celebrating Carnival, the Super Bowl, or even no event in particular, these fried chicken bites are worth a try.  They will score big points with your tongue, while bringing out the happiest of songs in your mind.

Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites

Print Recipe
Fried Chicken Bites (Frango a Passarinho)
Brazilian fried chicken bites are crunchy small cuts of chicken deep fried in oil and topped with a mixture of toasted garlic, olive oil, and parsley.
Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brazilian-fried-chicken-bites
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In a large Ziploc bag, mix in lime juice, mustard, 1-½ Tablespoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place small cuts of chicken inside, seal bag, and try to combine mixture with the chicken as much as possible. Let rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  2. In another large Ziploc bag, mix flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and paprika if desired. Remove chicken pieces from the bag, shaking off excess marinade, and place into the flour mixture. Seal bag and shake well until all pieces are covered with flour mixture.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F, shake off excess flour, and deep fry chicken in batches. Avoid overcrowding the pan. It will take about 8 minutes (wings and other small pieces) to 12 minutes (drumsticks and other alike pieces). Place fried chicken bites onto a large sheet pan lined with double paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  4. Meanwhile, toast minced garlic with olive oil over medium heat in a small to medium skillet -- just until garlic starts getting lightly brown. Watch carefully! Remove pan from the heat, let cool a bit, and spoon on top of the fried chicken bites. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve by themselves or accompanied by French fries and chilled beer or other drink of your choice. INACTIVE TIME: 30-60 minutes (marinade). SERVES 4-6 people.

 

Continue Reading 18
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