Brigadeiro (Brazilian candy)

There are so many Lebanese folks who have immigrated to Brazil throughout the ages that I am willing to bet every single family in Lebanon has at least one (close or distant) relative in Brazil.  (I do). I find remarkable too that there are more Lebanese in Brazil (and the rest of Latin America) than there are in Lebanon proper. In the Chouf region where we spend our summers, every village store has billboards advertising maté, the Latin-American tea. One can find maté sold in the most remote villages in Lebanon, the custom of drinking maté no doubt brought back to the old country by Lebanese immigrants.

Well, today I was in the mood for a little something sweet: Can’t think of anything faster to make, more luscious, more chocolaty, than brigadeiros.

INGREDIENTS: Quantity will make 25 pieces (minimum)

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces or 395 g.)
  • 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of liqueur of your choice (optional, I used arak)
  • Extra butter to shape the brigadeiros (I used a cookie dough scooper)
  • Topping for the brigadeiros: Traditional, chocolate sprinkles or any topping of your choice (I used toasted pecans chopped)

NOTE: You can substitute the cocoa and butter for a good quality dark chocolate (60% cocoa minimum) or use a cocoa mix like Nesquik. If using a cocoa mix, use 1/4 cup (equal to 3 tablespoons) and if using a chocolate bar, use 2 ounces, cut in small pieces.


  1. Pour the condensed milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add the cocoa powder through a sifter and the butter. Place over low heat and start stirring until the mixture is smooth and no trace of cocoa remain. Raise the heat to medium and keep stirring continuously; steam will appear and the milk mixture will get gradually thicker. Keep stirring; when you see that the mixture is so thick that stirring it will leave a mark at the bottom of the saucepan (the metal saucepan bottom will show), it is time to remove from the heat and cool the mixture; add the teaspoon or so of liqueur at this point. It should be very thick.
  2. Spray a bowl with butter spray and transfer the milk mixture to it. Cool the mixture for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Form small truffles either using your hands (previously greased or buttered) or a cookie dough scooper (what I used). Dip the truffles into a bowl filled with chocolate sprinkles, or coconut, or chopped nuts or whatever you like.
  3. Serve.

NOTE: Store the candies in the fridge. Be very careful as you are stirring the mixture that it does not burn, regulating the heat to prevent this.

You can also find lots of demos on youtube for brigadeiros.


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  1. Posted April 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Such heavenly treats! I would love to try these!

  2. Posted April 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    This is rich treat that I must try…maybe with both chopped pecans and chocolate sprinkles on top. My truffles have always been pathetic … but maybe the cookie dough scooper will give me better luck!

  3. Posted April 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I am Brazilian, son of an Egyptian and I follow your blog a long time. I loved it even when you began making videos! When I saw the brigadeiros around here, I could not stop commenting! The brigadeiros sent in childhood sweets of all Brazilians. It’s really easy and fast. Not an everyday dessert, being reserved for birthday parties or similar. In general I would like to congratulate you, say I was very happy to see a so simple brazilian sweet around here! Big hug!

  4. Posted April 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    oh my gah! I have a Brazilian friend that made these for me a few years ago and even shared an old recipe! I’ve yet to make them but you have totally inspired me. they look amazing and to tear up immediately! so, so lovely!

  5. Posted May 1, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    *sigh* They look SO good!!! I’d love to try making these, but you know, I don’t believe I’ve ever cooked with sweetened condensed milk before. Isn’t that weird. What’s even stranger is I don’t know why.

    I wonder if I could just sweeten some regular milk with honey instead of using sweetened condensed milk? I might have to experiment to find out. :)

  6. Posted May 1, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I know this one!!! And I even made them once! It is very interesting idea to make them as praline!

  7. Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    I love brigadeiro, are so easy to make! A hug…

  8. Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    De petites douceurs qui nous inspirent fort en ce dimanche matin.
    Ça tombe directement dans les hanches mais c’est tellement bon.
    A tester et vite.
    Bon 1er mai et à bientôt.

  9. Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I didn’t realize the importance Brazil held in welcoming Lebanese. At least a very close second place…is Montreal who has welcomed a grandious Lebanese community just as it did with the Italians, Irish and Greeks so many decades ago.

    Joumana, thank you for sharing a yummy brigadeiros with us…one more treat for my sweet tooth to look forward to ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  10. Posted May 1, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    You had me at sweetened condensed milk,. Joumana! These look divine.

  11. Posted May 1, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    une subite envie de prendre le café avec toi !!pierre

  12. Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I love these, their sweet nutty taste is irresistible. Yours look great, I love the touch of liqueur you give it, I usually omit that.

    Have a great week :)

  13. Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    That is so interesting about Lebanese people and Brazil! What a delightful treat these candies would be. I think they would be a wonderful addition to a holiday cookie platter!

  14. Posted May 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Bonsoir Joumana, Brazzzzzil, Brazzzzil, Brazzzzzil et douceurs sucrées…un vrai régal

  15. Posted May 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Brigadeiros are super popular in Brazil. There is no birthday parties without it. Kids love to assist “making” it. I would ‘help’ my mother cleaning up spoons and pans with my tongue :)
    Sweet times.

  16. Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I have never heard of these, but they remind me of one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Ferrero Rochers. I think I’d love these.
    HOpe you are enjoying your weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  17. Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s true!! I find mate in a Lebanese store round the corner! I didn’t know brigadeiros but they look almost I will try them ;D

  18. Posted May 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Our Lebanese cousins are all over Brasil. My wife is from Brasil and both of our families are from Beirut, hers Assaf mine Abraham. Tchau/Shalom ;-)

  19. Posted May 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    These look fantastic. Lovely and delicious as always :-) Love the elegant simplicity of this recipe.

  20. Posted May 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    This reminds of me a recipe for rum balls I used to make – I’d like to try out some other liquers and toppings.

  21. Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the Lebanse have emigrated all around the world? These look like great offerings for a party, shower, etc.

  22. Posted May 2, 2011 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    never knew about the lebanese-bazil connection! i have never heard of this candy either. i want!

  23. Claudia
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    These are some of my favorite candies of all time. Right now I am living in Spain and every time I make them they are eaten so fast. Great recipe!

  24. Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I have heard the same thing about the Japanese community in Brazil. These sweets look fabulous…and happen to have an open jar of condensed milk. Oh I am tempted, but shouldn’t after the recent holiday bingeing.

  25. Posted May 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Ça a l’air délicieux ! Je n’ai malheureusement jamais eu la chance d’y goûter lors de mon voyage…
    C’est marrant que tu parles du maté car mes parents m’ont aussi dit en avoir vu en Syrie !
    Bises Joumana

  26. Posted May 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the condensed milk makes the difference.

  27. Posted May 5, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Wonderful treats…they look like something found in the window of the best chocolatier :)

  28. Posted May 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Well I never knew about the tight Lebanese-Brazillian connection, fascinating.And these little candies…easy and yummy!

  29. Jihan osman
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    As a fan of brigadeiro, follow us on instagram or facebook. We have freshly handmade brigadeiros gourmet of all kinds just started in beirut, im brazilian and trying to bring this amazing delight to this town!!! or @sweetbbeirut

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Chocolate bites on September 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    [...] taste of these bites is similar to the Brazilian brigadeiros, but they are a lot easier to make, since there is no cooking of anything [...]

  2. By Taste of Beirut – Chocolate bites on September 12, 2014 at 6:19 am

    […] taste of these bites is similar to the Brazilianbrigadeiros, but they are a lot easier to make, since there is no cooking of anything […]

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