Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Friggin School Projects

So, DramaQueen has been learning about Brazil. For weeks they've been earning "Brazilian bucks"--for doing what I don't know. So we get this notice that the lessons will culminate in a Brazilian Market, and that each child should bring in 25 (yes, 25) homemade items to sell. And you should have seen some of the suggestions: paste a picture onto cardboard and cut it up to make a jigsaw puzzle. Yeah, right. That's going to be a busy booth. Or I imagined trying to help her make 25 paper flowers, or 25 bookmarks, or 25 painted rocks, or 25 anything.

Well, Dear Husband has some experience with Brazilian culture (or should I say, with Brazilian women), and he told me about this sweet called a brigadeiro. He even found a recipe. Cool--it has only 3 ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, butter, and Nesquick cocoa powder. How could I go wrong?


First, there was a certain vagueness about how long to cook the mixture. "Until you see the bottom of the pan." Hello--we're working with condensed milk, you can see the bottom from the start. So the first batch I cooked for maybe 10 minutes, and that didn't set up at all, so I shoved it back into a pan today and cooked it for about a half hour more. Then I started a second batch, trying to match the increasing viscosity of the first batch. Seemed to get thicker. So, rather than about 10 minutes, as one recipe suggested, I cooked it for nearly an hour. Poor DramaQueen gave out after about 10 minutes of constant stirring.

I had a bad feeling about waiting until tomorrow so DramaQueen could help roll them into shape. I just finished trying to roll the goop into balls and roll them into jimmies and cocoa powder. Fine as long as they're chilled, then they just spread out like a lake. Finally I popped them into little cupcake cups. Someone said they tasted like tootsie rolls. In a pig's eye. Dear Husband says the taste is about right. Obviously his tastes were unformed at the time of his interaction with the Brazilian "community".

Well, to me it tastes like really sweet sticky milky goop. I'm nuking the hell out of the rest of it just to see what happens. I estimate that it would take two hours of conventional cooking to get to the tootsie roll stage. Maybe kids will like it. It's full of sugar and messy. If I lived in New York, I would have done the sane thing and located an actual Brazilian bodega (or whatever the appropriate Portuguese word is) and avoided this whole nonsense.

An Hour Later:

This is a total mess--completely unusable. And BTW, never try to nuke the hell out of a caramel mixture. Now I have tomorrow to come up with a suitable substitute. At least it doesn't have to actually have anything to do with Brazil. I'm so not doing Brazil nuts--blech. So the dollar store it is. Any suggestions?

DramaQueen is not going to be happy.


  1. The ones I had at Christmas (made by a Brazillian friend) were much more squishy than a tootsie roll! They just held their shape, but if you squeezed a little too hard they'd definately squash between your fingers.

    Also... seems that people either love them or hate them. Me... not exactly a fan.

    May the (microwave) Force be with you :)

  2. The Brazilian woman she is referring to was my high school gf, who made the best Brazilian sweats. I don't miss her but I miss those sweats.
    I wonder what Southern women can make other than gross grits.