I first saw these little gems on an America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) post. They were just so cute! Simple, too – just three ingredients + decorating candies (nonpareils)! In all of the posts I found around the internet, none used vanilla, but they screamed vanilla to me, so mine have four ingredients + nonpareils 🙂 My little brigadeiros are not quite traditional, but they sure are good!
The other thing I noticed is that many of the recipes around the web had very little cocoa. 2 tablespoons, 3 tablespoons. Ummm. I guess I’m a chocoholic ’cause that’s not much at all to me. Eight tablespoons, which is what ATK used did seem a bit much to me so I guess there are even chocolatier chocoholics out there. I put in 7. You could get away with 6, but I wouldn’t drop it much more or you may as well scoop the sweetened condensed milk right out of the can and into your mouth 🙂
Something else widely noted was that The United States’ version of sweetened condensed milk isn’t as sweet as that found in Brazil. wow. I have a sweet tooth, but I cannot imagine using something even sweeter. If you’d like, using Nestle’s Quick chocolate drink mix was suggested in several recipes instead of cocoa to make up for the less sweet condensed milk we have. I did not do this as they are plenty sweet to me.
I also added more butter for a creamier candy, and used natural cocoa instead of Dutch processed, so in the end, I tweaked this quite a bit, but I think you’ll like it.
ok. enough background info. Grab a can of sweetened condensed milk, some cocoa powder (regular, natural cocoa, not Dutch processed), some butter, and your vanilla and let’s get to this!
1 can ( 14 oz, 397 g) sweetened condensed milk (_not_ evaporated milk)
7 tablespoons (40 g) natural cocoa powder (Penzeys is wonderful!)
1/2 stick (2 oz, 57 g) butter
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1) Cut up the butter a bit and put it in a small saucepan on medium-low heat along with the condensed milk and cocoa powder.
2) Keep stirring until you think your arm’s going to fall off, occasionally swiping a rubber spatula down the middle to see if it leaves a path. Once it does, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
3) Pour the mixture into a buttered 8″ x 8″ (20 cm x 20 cm) glass dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4) After 30 minutes, pull it out and scoop the mixture into little balls using either your fingers or a small spoon and your thump to scoop it off.
5) Roll into small balls and roll the balls into nonpareils. You could include various colorful ones and chocolate shot, or a mixture thereof.