The 2016 Summer Olympics conclude today in Rio so here's my final homage to the games and host country. I had heard of the popular Brazilian candy brigadeiro, a chocolate fudge ball most associated with birthday parties, but when I mentioned I was thinking of making them my Brazilian colleague Marcelo said his favorite sweet was actually the beijinho. Beijinho? What the heck was that? Beijinho in Portuguese means "little kiss" and these treats are similar to brigadeiro but made with coconut instead of chocolate.
Both candies start with a base of sweetened condensed milk and butter. Chocolate or coconut is stirred in and the entire thing is cooked over the stove. You stir constantly until the mixture gets very thick and viscous. Once cooled, the candy is formed in to bite-sized balls and rolled in sprinkles or coconut.
Given my aversion to anything overly sweet I was a bit hesitant about candy made with condensed milk. To my delight I found both versions had just the right amount of sweetness. I must say that I agree with Marcelo and prefer the beijinho, but that's mainly because I pretty much love anything coconut. The one tip I would offer is to cook the candy mixture until it's super thick. With my brigadeiro I think they definitely could have benefited from a few more minutes on the stove to ensure a harder consistency when cooled. But no worries, it still tasted delicious!