My friend Sue recently embarked on a grand adventure, moving from the Midwest to Brazil. Many of her friends came together for a Brazilian Bash, a beautiful going away soiree. It was a lovely evening, filled with fun people, food, dancing and of course, lots of laughter.
I met Sue a few years back through our mutual friend, Largo. One of the things I’ve learned from these ladies, both event coordinators, is that it is perfectly okay for special events to have little touch of BIG, of crazy, of totally over the top. And so, when it was time for Sue’s going away party, I wanted to go a little over the top. Well, kinda. I made six Brazilian desserts. What? You’d do that for your friends, too, right?
Because many Brazilian foods are already gluten-free, this wasn’t particularly challenging but oh my, was it ever tasty! Half of what I baked was naturally gluten-free and half I needed to modify. Even the Brazilian foods that contain gluten have been easy to modify. And they have all been incredibly delicious. I’m already planning more Brazilian baking. I am also thinking any additional Brazilian baking may require a research trip, a chance to visit Sue!
I started with a tried-and-true recipe from my own recipe box, Broinhas or corn cookie. Instead of making 10 large cookies as the recipes suggests, I made 24 small cookies. The smaller size was great for sharing at a party.
Then I made Bolo de Banana, Banana Upside Down Cake. This, too, was easily modified to gluten-free. Where the recipe calls for breadcrumbs, use almond meal instead. I made this in a greased 9 x 13 and then used a 2″ round cutter to make little cake circles that I inverted and served in these cute nut cups from Sweet! Well, except for that corner that is cut out. I put that directly into my mouth. So good!
Moving on from cookies and cake, I made a variety of Brazilian candies. These are all super easy to make and would be fun to make with kiddos in the kitchen.
Fourth on my list, Brigadeiros. These are my favorite Brazilian treat, a slightly chewy chocolate truffle rolled in chocolate sprinkles or chopped nuts or coconut. Not a single modification necessary here, just make sure the chocolate sprinkles you use are gluten-free.
The fifth creation from a recipe at In Search of Delicious was Beijinhos de Coco, Brazilian Coconut Candy. Beijinhos means kisses in Portugese. If Brazilian kisses are coconut-y, rich, butter-y and sweet, then I must visit! These are a perfect little treat, even better if you can wait a day to eat them. Again, not a single modification necessary, already gluten-free!
And last on my list, Docinhos De Abobora, Brazilian Pumpkin Candy. These are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. They could be vegan if you chose your sugars carefully.
Docinhos de Abobora, Brazilian Pumpkin Candy
(Makes 25 candies)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I use canned)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1/4 t. ground cloves
non-stick cooking spray
powdered sugar for rolling
Place all of the ingredients except for the cooking spray and powdered sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. Mixture needs to reach 240 degrees and will be very thick.
Once at 240 degrees, turn off burner and remove pan from heat. Turn out onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
Allow to cool until easy to handle. Spray hands lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll into small balls and then roll in powdered sugar.
Here’s the price break-down:
Powdered Sugar $0.37
4.6% Sales Tax $0.16
Total: $3.53 for 25 candies
While I’m going to miss Sue being in the same city, I’m so excited to hear about her adventures in Brazil. I’m hoping once in awhile she’ll share a new recipe with me so I can share even more gluten-free Brazilian treats!