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Sunday Salon – Lots of cookies, not many books

December 14, 2008

The Sunday Salon.comOof, it has been a slow, slow reading week. I finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman last Sunday, and then nothing at all until yesterday, when I finished both my audiobook (The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll) and The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Reviews will go up eventually, but probably not right away – the craziness that was last week is not scheduled to stop until late Tuesday afternoon. Likewise, I started All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy as my new audiobook today, but I can’t quite pick what I’m in the mood to read next… not that it really matters, since I doubt I’m going to get any time to sit down and read until *maybe* tomorrow night. End of the semester’s killing me, here.

But I have made a lot (LOT) of cookies. It’s been a cookie-making madhouse around these parts. Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, cornflake wreaths, baklava, cranberry walnut white chocolate oatmeal cookies, and brigadeiro.

Brigadeiro’s a Brazilian recipe (at least, my mom learned how to make it from a Brazilian graduate student friend back in the day), although last year a Portuguese acquaintance pronounced my version “pretty good” after correcting my spelling and pronunciation. As I understand it, in its native range it’s not specifically a Christmas treat, but it’s become family tradition to have it with the Christmas cookies, and it very rarely gets made any other time. It’s easy, can be made to look pretty, and is so very chocolatey.

brigadeiroBrigadeiro

– 1 T butter
– 1 can sweetened condensed milk (better not to use the fat-free stuff – it still works, but it takes longer and the texture’s kind of wonky)
– 1 square unsweetened baker’s chocolate (or 2 1/2 T unsweetened cocoa)
– Chocolate sprinkles

In a non-stick saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Dump in the sweetened condensed milk and the baker’s chocolate, and stir until the chocolate’s melted and combined.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and begins to “come away from the edge of the pan.” This point is kind of tricky to know when you’ve reached it, but if you get to the next step and find that the mix isn’t thick enough once it’s cooled, it can always be re-heated.

Let the mix cool until it’s comfortable to handle but still warm. With buttered hands, roll the mix into ~1 in. balls, then roll them in a dish of chocolate sprinkles to coat. Serve in petit-four paper cups. Tastes like chocolate and Christmas.

I’ve seen variations where you’re rolling them in cocoa powder, or colored sprinkles, or nuts, or shredded coconut, or shaved white chocolate, but the original will always be my favorite.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2008 12:44 pm

    Those sound delicious! I’m going to have to give ’em a try.

  2. December 14, 2008 12:47 pm

    Brigadeiros!! :D

    My boyfriend is Brazilian, and he and his mother taught me how to make them. I actually made them all by myself for the first time for Christmas last year (though like you said they’re not specifically a Christmas treat), and he also pronounced by version “pretty good” :P They are indeed very easy to make, and absolutely delicious.

    The end of the semester is killing me too. My reading has really slowed down this month, and I’m going to have to struggle to finish my challenges. I won’t complain, though, because at least I’ve been enjoying my reads.

    I really look forward to your thoughts on the Carroll book.

  3. December 14, 2008 12:47 pm

    I do love cookies and those look good! I hope you have a great week!

  4. December 14, 2008 1:03 pm

    It’s been a very slow reading week for me too.
    Those look absolutely delicious!!!

  5. December 14, 2008 1:17 pm

    Sounds yummy! I’m doing all my baking next weekend.

  6. December 14, 2008 2:00 pm

    Memory – Let me know how they turn out… I’ve made these so often that trying to put the recipe in written form was actually kind of hard!

    Nymeth – Excellent, an expert opinion! Does your boyfriend’s version use chocolate sprinkles as well?

    Literary Feline – Thanks, you too!

    tanabata – Personally, I think it’s been a combination of being very busy, and then being so tired from being very busy that I can’t concentrate on a book. Hope next week is better!

    Jen – I usually do two batches of baking – one big round for my friends and coworkers here, and then one smaller round when I’m at my parents’ house for the holidays.

  7. December 14, 2008 2:12 pm

    This has been exactly my problem this weekend. My kids last week of school is next week and they are giving cookies and candies for gifts so it all must be made this weekend.

    Hope things slow down for you!

    Amy(The Sleepy Reader)
    http://readingtoolate.net

  8. December 14, 2008 2:46 pm

    I’m still baking cookies and candies for Christmas gifts; I’m going to try this one out – looks delicious! :)

  9. December 14, 2008 3:04 pm

    I don’t think many people got much reading done last week.

  10. December 14, 2008 4:13 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what you thought of the Tea Rose. We’re in holiday gear ourselves now that everyone is healthier. It’s been about two straight weeks of sick.

  11. December 14, 2008 4:59 pm

    those cookies look good :)
    I have All the Pretty Horses in my TBR.
    Enjoy your Sunday.

  12. December 14, 2008 5:47 pm

    Yup, chocolate sprinkles. I hadn’t heard of other things being used, but now I want to try them – particularly the shaved white chocolate.

  13. December 14, 2008 8:57 pm

    Those look delicious!

  14. December 14, 2008 10:24 pm

    I have NO doubt that I will be making those before the week is over. I remember my mom used to make a similar recipe. Rolling them into balls is the best, your fingers look like you have been playing in rich mud (very tasty mud thoguh!!!:) I can’t wait to try them!

  15. December 14, 2008 10:26 pm

    oh and for me cocoa powder is divine, they you get the bitter on the outside to bring up the sweet taste….all I can say is that I am drooling…

  16. December 15, 2008 11:00 pm

    looks so yummy!

  17. December 16, 2008 3:04 am

    Oh dear, looks totally delicious! I’ll copy and paste this recipe and hopefully get to make one when I travel home for the holidays. Not that I’m Brazilian or anything, I just love chocolate. And cookies. And anything sweet for that matter. Hmmm.

    I’m looking forward also to your thoughts on Jonathan Carroll’s book. I haven’t read him but I do have one of his books on my pile, White Apples or something.

  18. December 16, 2008 9:49 am

    Amy – I’m not giving cookies as gifts, but I do have multiple events to which I need to bring them… Since I’ve been the cookie girl in previous years, it’s kind of expected now!

    Jessi – Hope you enjoy them!

    bermudaonion – It is that time of year, isn’t it?

    Literate Housewife – Glad to hear you’re feeling better! The Tea Rose review should be up sometime today.

    bookworm – It’s taking me a while to get into the flow of All the Pretty Horses, but its interesting so far.

    Nymeth – Let me know how the fancy-pants white chocolate ones turn out!

    Alyce – They are! I’m not even going to tell you how many I ate yesterday.

    Bethany – I always wind up with chocolate smears in my butter tub. :) The cocoa powder ones do look very fancy, but I’m a traditionalist – chocolate sprinkles all the way!

    Sheri – Indeed!

    Lightheaded – Trust me, my family is nothing even resembling Brazilian, and we still love ’em. :)

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