Simple Valentine’s Day Treat- Dark Chocolate Brigadeiros

My oldest child, my only daughter is turning 11 in a few days.  At the cusp of her tween years, she already acts like a full-fledged tween.  We are having our first sleepover for more than just one or two kids- 6 girls…  I am bracing myself for impact already. Darby (my card carrying tween and resident chocoholic) has requested one thing in her birthday “retainer”, and that is a giant plate of Brazilian Brigadeiros.  I had made them as part of a giant dessert table at her 9th birthday, and apparently she has been dreaming about them ever since.

Darbys 9th birthday party table
Darby’s 9th birthday dessert table. Ooh-la-la!

Brigadeiros are truly the stuff of dreams.  Rich, chocolates, buttery, and chewy- They kind of remind me of a cross between a gooey caramel and a chocolate tootsie roll, only softer and coated in sprinkles.

Luckily for me (and you), Brigadeiros are super simple and inexpensive to make, and are the PERFECT Valentine’s Day treat for your sweetheart(s).  Forget the box of $50 chocolate truffles.  A homemade gift that looks impressive and tastes like you slaved over it, will be much more appreciated.  Plus, they are Brazilian, which makes you seems worldly and sophisticated.  Nuff said.

Start with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons “good quality” dark cocoa powder (in Brazil, they use milk chocolate powder, but this is my version!), and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ingredients for our Brigadeiros

I used Cacao Barry Extra Brute, but any dark cocoa powder will do.  This delicious and useful stuff is available on Amazon, if you are interested.

Cacao Barry Extra Brute for our Brigadeiros

Then you just whisk this mixture continuously, and I do mean don’t step away, for 12-15 minutes on Medium-low heat until mixture thickens dramatically and starts to pull away from the sides when whisked.  It will get slightly hard to wisk (great arm workout!) toward the end.  Mixture will firm up more once cooled.

Whisk the Brigadeiros

Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract off the heat, and whisk again.  Remove the mixture to separate bowl and stash in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

The finished mixture for our Brigadeiros

Next, once the mixture is cool enough to touch (might still be slightly warm), scoop tablespoon balls of the chocolatey goodness.  Roll each ball in any type of sprinkle you like…Coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder would also work (but we are nut-free around here).  I usually roll them again in my hands after the sprinkles go on, just to make them perfectly round.

The Brigadeiros should be perfectly round balls

These were the sprinkles I used.  That is it!  Easy as can be.  Serve them in little mini-cupcake liners.  Adorable.  You can store them covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

The Brigadeiros are finished

Beautiful Brazillian Brigadeiros

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