April 30, 2011  •  Category:


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.



31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Such heavenly treats! I would love to try these!

  2. Claudia says:

    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. Diego Barreto says:

    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. Bren says:

    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. sheila @ Elements says:

    *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. maja says:

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

  7. Chiara says:

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

  8. Nadji says:

    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. FOODESSA says:

    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. Barbara says:

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

  11. pierre says:

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

  12. Mari's Cakes says:

    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. Susan says:

    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. domi says:

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

  15. weirdcombos says:

    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. Heavenly Housewife says:

    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. Cristina says:

    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. Mark Wisecarver says:

    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. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

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

  20. T.W. Barritt says:

    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. Peter says:

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

  22. Banana Wonder says:

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

  23. Claudia says:

    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. Nuts about food says:

    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. Julie says:

    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. joe says:

    I suppose the condensed milk makes the difference.

  27. Magic of Spice says:

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

  28. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

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

  29. Hagop basmadjian says:

    Is there any place in Lebanon where I can find brigaderio?

    • Joumana says:

      @Hagop basmadjian: Actually, I think there is a place that makes only Brazilian pastries but I am not sure where it is located. The reason I know is I found it on Instagram.

Add a Comment