Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Beijos de Dama - Lady's Kisses

I don’t mean to cheat. These biscuits were made in December when I was visiting my family in Brazil. As at that time I was pretty slack with the English version of my blog the recipe is only being added now. I need to put it (plus many more) in my other English language blog, Tapioca, but I shall walk with baby steps.

There is an Italian biscuit called Bacci di Dona that if translated in Portuguese would be called just like the one I am posting here - however, the ingredients are not exactly the same. Beijos de dama is originally from north Brazil where Brazil nuts are abundant. I am not too sure whether they are cheaper there then elsewhere in the country, but they are indeed terribly popular. My mum in fact has a wonderful recipe of Brazil nut biscuits that melts in the mouth – the recipe is very similar to this one and the only difference lies in the ingredients. I vaguely remember having this conversation with her when I was home. Her recipe has corn starch and no egg yolk.

These biscuits that I am telling you about, Beijos de Dama, smell and taste great. Nuts have a beautiful smell once they are roasted slightly. Burnt nuts are not very attractive.

I have to add something about the ingredients: mum has always cooked an awful lot and her kitchen always had all sorts of gadgets. The first stop of my holiday was Sao Paulo and whilst there I wanted to bake some bread for a friend and ended up buying a scale for her as she had nothing like that in her kitchen. As I left to go to Brasilia she told me to take the scale with me and I replied that there was no need as my mum had everything in her kitchen. To my surprise once I got home I found out that mum’s scale was on loan and I never saw it during the whole three weeks I spent there. I used a measuring cup to get my ingredients sorted – never without complaining incessantly. Can you imagine what they had to endure for 3 weeks? It would have been less painful to buy a scale but at the time I decided that complaining was the way to go. What is it with us and our families? I feel forever the 17-year-old who left to go to university. Anyway, back to measuring: these measuring cups have equivalents to all the ingredients and the cup of flour reads 150g, 1 cup of sugar reads 200g. For the butter I used 200g.As for the 1 ½ cup of Brazil nuts, I put the nuts in the measuring cup and filled it up to the 1 ½ flour. Very unorthodox, I know. You basically put the ingredient required in the cup until it is levelled with the mark that corresponds to the desired quantity. If I had prepared the recipe with a scale I would have used the equivalent in grams that I wrote down below as they correspond to the standards I adopt. For all my Brazilian recipes, unless specified in the recipe itself, I go for 1 cup of flour equals 125g, 1 cup of sugar is 180g, a cup of butter is 200g..and so on and so forth. I will leave it to you to decide what you would like to do in case you feel tempted to preparing them as well.

I had loads of fun cooking with my mum. I remember that the first biscuits that I tried to ‘decorate’ with chocolate stripes were not too pretty. I got very frustrated and felt terribly inapt. Mum took over that role. At first we got big splodges of chocolate and ended up laughing about it – mum kept saying that it was modern art. In end I loved the way they all turned out

Beijos de Dama – Lady’s kisses

1 cup of sugar (180g)

1 ½ cups Brazil nuts, toasted and ground

2 cups flour (250g)

1 cup butter (200g) room temperature

1 egg yolk


100g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven – 180C – medium temperature. Grease and flour a baking sheet – 40cm x 32cm.

Prepare the dough: sieve the sugar in a bowl, add the Brazil nut, the flour and the butter. User your fingers to mix it all together until it resembles crumbs. Add the egg yolk and use the tip of your fingers to mix it all until you get uniform dough.

Make little balls with the dough – around 2cm each. Arrange them on the baking sheet keeping them a bit apart. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or when it is golden brown. Transfer it to a rack to cool.

For the icing: put the chocolate on a bowl over a pan boiling water and let it melt – do not let the bowl touch the water. When melted, remove it from the heat and use the thongs of a fork to draw lines over the biscuit.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm so glad you posted this recipe here, Tina. These are wonderful and people from around the world will love this recipe, I'm sure!

Freya and Paul said...

Patricia is right, this recipe looks wonderful and I would love to give it a go! I love the icing!

gilly said...

These cookies are so delicate and adorable - I love it!

Peabody said...

It's not cheating, I find pictures of stuff I made a while back and forgot about all the time...then I just post them.
Good looking cookies...you rarely see things with Brazil nuts.

Paz said...

I love this and I love the name! I've gotta try it!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Your mum is wonderful, they do look like modern art! and they also look wonderful tasty!
As strange as it may seem at 62 I can still find myself back in my kidhood with my 91 year old dad.
I'd be lost without my scale anymore. Now I look for books with both measurements, it's just so much easier.

Sher said...

I agree! Not cheating at all! If you have more pictures and recipes like that, we would love to see them! Wonderful post.

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