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Ask the Chef: New years Eve Tradition with Brigaderios Brazillian Candy

Dear Chef Coco,

When I was young we used to visit relatives for the holidays in Brazil and they always served a nougat confection on New Year's Eve at the parties. Can you give me a recipe for these?

Sarah J.

Dear Sarah,

Brigaderios are a traditional Brazilian national treasure It's undoubtedly the national chocolate truffle of Brazil. The history of the confectionery dates back to the end of world war II where these little chocolate delights were made for fundraising for the candidate who was a Brigadier General at the time. The only problem was there was a dairy shortage due to post war times. No problem, the candy could be made with condensed canned milk, butter and chocolate.

Today in Brazil, there are over 50 different flavors of Brigaderios sold in their own special shops. The sprinkles are the real deal, but it can be a starting point for creative candy makers to include their own special touch. Easy to make, they have a definite nougat flavor.

I was first introduced to Brigaderios from my friend Mary Durward. She has traveled to South America and brought back this culinary treasure to the great northwoods for all of us to enjoy. Easy to make, it's a great stand in for chocolate truffles. It's served all year around for special occasions


Ingredients: 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine 5 teaspoons of cocoa powder 1/2 cup chocolate jimmies for rolling 1 tablespoon butter, soft for hands for rolling additional cocoa powder for rolling 24 small paper cups, foil lined Directions:

In a medium saucepan, mix cocoa with the condensed milk and add the butter. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until you can draw the spoon through the mixture and it will stay separated so you can see the bottom of the pan, about 8-10 minutes. Continue to stir for 2 more minutes. Pour the mix onto a buttered plate and let it cool completely. 2. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, butter your hands, take about a teaspoon of chocolate mixture, and roll into a small ball. Roll each chocolate ball in chocolate sprinkles and put each ball into a small paper cup (like a muffin cup, but smaller). 3.You can substitute multi colored sprinkles, confetti sprinkles, toasted coconut or chopped nuts. 4.Store at room temperature in airtight containers.

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