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Spiced Pistachio Brigadeiro Truffles

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The other day I was half watching The Food Network and I heard the word Brigadeiro.  Pronounced,  bri-ga-DAY-ro.  I am struggling trying to get the word to stick in my vocabulary so I have to keep repeating it over and over and over.  So what the heck is it?  Google!  Thank Google… it is a simple form of a Brazilian chocolate bonbon, created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, whose shape is reminiscent of some varieties of chocolate truffles.  It is a very popular candy in Brazil and Portugal it is usually served at birthday parties, and also as dessert.  Well shoot fire and save matches (as my friend Elaine taught me to say)  I can make those!  Mr. Google… what is in a Brigadeiro?

It is made by mixing sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder together. The mixture is then heated in a pan on the stove or in a microwave oven to obtain a smooth, sticky texture.  It is usually rolled into balls which are covered in granulated chocolate; that is the way brigadeiros are served at children’s birthday parties. It can also be consumed basically as a paste in a jar, with a spoon or used as a topping or a filling for cakes, brownies and other pastries.  After creating this recipe, I concur!  Delicious!

The crunchy exterior is sweet, spicy, and has that down to earth warm hug as if it were from Mother Nature herself with the combination of the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and ginger.   Oh but then there is the center, the core, the nucleus….  rich, creamy, and slightly sweet.  Enough to keep you speechless… for a few seconds anyway, just long enough to mutter… OMG.

Ingredients: yields 32 truffles

Spiced-Pistachio-Brigadeiro-Truffles5Spice pistachios:

  • 3/4 cup pistachios, soaked
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Brigadeiro Truffles:

  • 2 cups packed, Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 1/2 oz cacao butter (1 cup shredded)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

Spice pistachios:

  1. Soak, drain and rinse the pistachios, place in a small bowl.
  2. Add the maple syrup, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne and salt.  Stir until all of the pistachios are coated.
  3. Spread the nuts out on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator.  Dry at 115 degrees(F) for 8-10 hours or until dry.
  4. Once cooled to room temperature, diced into small bits with a sharp knife.  I don’t recommend crushing them in a ziplock bag because it will create more powder and uneven bits.

Brigadeiro Truffles:

  1. Remove the pits from the dates and inspect each one, making sure that it is free of mold.  Place in a medium bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover the dates.  Rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.  Pour the drain water out and squeeze the excess water out from the dates with your hand.  Place in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.  Puree the dates until they start to change color.  See photo below.
  2. Cacao butter ~ grate the cacao butter so it melts quickly and evenly.  You can melt the cacao butter in two ways:
    • Dehydrator ~ place the bowl of cacao butter in the dehyrator and set the temperature at 115 (F).  Stir occasionally until melted.
    • Hot water bath ~  place the grated cacao butter in a seal jar.  Put the jar in the center of large bowl and pour hot water into the bowl.  The hot water will melt the cacao butter.
  3. Add the cacao butter, cacao powder, agave, vanilla and salt to the food processor and process until the batter comes together in a paste.  Place a medium-sized bowl and chill for 4+ hours.  I chilled mine for over 8 hours due to getting busy with other projects.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop up the batter and level off the scoop rim.  Roll the batter into a ball in the center of your hand.  If the batter is sticky (mine was) coat your hands occasionally with coconut oil.  This will prevent the batter from sticking to you and soften your hands in the meantime. :)
  5. Roll each ball in the chopped Spiced Pistachio mix.  I made a second bowl of the pistachios but ground them even finer.  End result, we liked the chunkier version the best… it seemed more flavorful.
  6. Storage: these truffles can be left on the counter for about 5-7 days.  The cacao butter helps them retain their shape so they won’t melt.  Our house temp stays at about 70 degrees so keep that in mind.  Fridge – store in airtight container for several weeks, or for 2+ months in the freezer.

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Spiced Pistachios

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18 thoughts on “Spiced Pistachio Brigadeiro Truffles

  1. Cherie says:

    Hi Amie, this recipe looks and sounds great. I’m wondering if I can replace the agave with honey for this recipe, as I don’t use agave. Do you know how much honey I would need to use–more or less than the 2 tbsp–to achieve the same level of sweetness? What about using carob powder to replace the cacao powder? Thanks for your help!

    • amie-sue says:

      Sure Cherie, you can try honey and carob. Personally, I don’t care for the taste of carob so I don’t use it. I would just start with small measurements and build up to the level that you enjoy. amie sue

  2. kate says:

    ummm, all i can think about at the moment is getting those pistachios soaking, spiced and dehydrated!!! I’m off to the coop!!! thanks!!

  3. Helen says:

    Hi Amie-Sue, this recipe looks so ‘yummy scrumptious.’ Is it possible to do the spice pistachio mix without dehydrating? I don’t own a dehydrator and I never seem to have much luck in dehydrating in my conventional oven. Is there a way I can get around this problem? Thank you. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Helen…. I do understand. The only aspect of this recipe that requires dehydrating are the spice pistachios… I believe that you can still enjoy this treat. Start with just 1 Tbsp of sweetener. Mix the nuts and spices together with it and see how it is. I only recommend cutting back a bit is to make sure that you don’t have syrup puddling. Does that makes sense. Then just continue to make is instructed. Let me know if you give it a try.

  4. Idapie says:

    Oh Holy Good Mother Nature those look fantastic!

  5. amy schmidt says:

    This looks interesting. I don’t remember seeing raw pistachios and I’m pretty sure I’ve never tasted one. I live in Houston so pretty sure I’ll be able to find them. Looking forward to giving this a try. Love your posts, thanks for the inspiration. I made your cheesy kale chips and loved them!
    Amy

    • amie-sue says:

      Do the best you can with the ingredients. :) I, we, are huge fans of the kale chips as well. So glad you liked them! Have a great day, amie sue

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi Amie-sue

    Made these the other day, fantastic! Love your recipes and ideas, thank you for sharing.

  7. Lyn :] says:

    Oh Yummy Amie Sue,
    I was, and I repeat was… a die hard milk chocolate fan,(even though it’s not healthy). But I am converting, these were really good. I couldn’t make the pistachio ones, due to Gene’s allergies. But the brigadeiro ones were wonderful.

    To those of you out there that are milk chocolate lovers, give these a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Thank you again Amie Sue, you made two people happy, this Happy Valentines Day here!!!! Hugs, Lyn :]

    • Lyn :] says:

      He He, I used past tense on saying that they were good, no, I didn’t eat them all. lol I just had one!!! I am trying to have a little more self control, although with your recipes…it’s very hard. :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lyn for sharing that. It will really encourage others who perhaps have pistachio allergies as well. I hope one day as Gene’s system heals, that he will be able to enjoy all these foods once again!

      Happy Valentine’s Day my friend! hugs to both of you. amie sue

  8. lisa says:

    Hi Amie-Sue! I can’t thank you enough for your passion and your educational website! I use it often but recently wondered with this recipe if coconut manna could be use for the “2 1/2 oz cacao butter (1 cup shredded)” or if it is in fact cacao butter like i use for lotions, lip balm, only edible? could you shed any light on this?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Lisa, so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words.

      You should be able to use the coconut mana in place of the cacao butter. They might be a tad softer but they will still taste amazing! Can you send me a link to the brand of butter you are using. Some are not food grade and some are. Maybe I can tell by seeing what you are using exactly. Blessings! amie sue

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