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Brigadeiros - The Brazilian upscale tootsie-rolls

Posted on November 11 2015

100% cacao Brigadeiros

When I moved to Brazil I saw brigadeiros everywhere. It was the most popular and ubiquitous confection in the country. I found it very surprising that this dessert was so famous here yet I have never seen them sold anywhere else in the world. At first I thought they were like French truffles or Belgian bon bons … then I had 1 (or 30-something) and I figured them out.

They are nothing like truffles or bon bons; the most important factor being that it contains sweetened condensed milk instead of heavy cream and sugar. They are not creamy like truffles, instead they are chewy and gooey. It’s closer to a chewy caramel. My favorite brigadeiros are made with high quality chocolate and taste like gooey brownies. Most brigadeiros are too sweet; I make mine with 90-100% high quality chocolate which keeps them sweet but not too sweet.

The first time I made brigadeiros they were too hard and they crystalized; although they were easy to roll and they kept their shape they where crunchy and not the best. Your first batch may not be the best. This is why I have created a recipe that uses ½ of the sweetened condensed milk of one can.- you get two chances to make this recipe with 1 can.

Since the brigadeiros are sticky they all require sprinkles, crushed nuts, or some type of dry outside layers. When I use high quality chocolate for the brigadeiro, I also make my own shavings from that same chocolate. You could also use cocoa powder. But the traditional sprinkles … are the most traditional.


Makes 30 brigadeiros

  • 196g (7oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 28g (1T) butter
  • 84g (3oz) dark chocolate, 90%-100% cacao chocolate (or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder)
  • Sprinkles or jimmies 
  1. Heat the sweetened condensed milk and butter in a pot on low heat.
  2. Add chocolate and allow to melt.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula keep mixing for 5-10 minutes without stopping. This will keep it from burning. Heat until it thickens like fudge (creamy but becomes difficult to stir).
  4. If you have a thermometer make sure it goes 180-200F. The higher temperature will give you a harder brigadeiro.
  5. Pour into a bowl and let cool. (4hrs) 

Making the brigadeiros

  1. Place the sprinkles/jimmies into a wide bowl.
  2. Place a little bit of butter on your hands if the brigadeiro mix is too sticky and using a spoon, scrape a little onto your hand and roll it into a ball.
  3. Drop it in the bowl of sprinkles and roll.
  4. Place in a #4 cup (small white cups); this helps keep the shape the best.
  5. You can store these for a long time; up to 3 months in the refrigerator or 5 months in the freezer. But make sure that you wrap very well in plastic container and plastic wrap.

I make my own shavings when I want to use high quality chocolate. Sprinkles/jimmies don't exist in high quality yet. 


Related Posts


  • Mariane: September 28, 2016

    We are really glad that you enjoyed the Brazilian classic treat. Now, you can find fine and pure sprinkles from Callebaut Company and Cacau Barry.

  • Dorothy: February 12, 2016

    Guitard, Hilliads and Callebaut all make real chocolate jimmies.

  • mariana: July 27, 2015


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