Gingerbread is one of my favorite scents to come wafting out of the kitchen at Christmas time. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate my favorite holiday flavor, so when I needed a sweet treat to bring to several cookie exchanges, I knew something “gingery” was brewing.
I looked for inspiration from my trip to Brazil earlier this year in which I had my first experience with a popular homemade soft and chewy candy called Brigadeiro. They traditionally combine chocolate and caramel, but the possibilities are endless as you can mix in about any flavor you like to these no-bake, gluten-free treats.
Just a few ingredients for this unique Christmas treat.
Mix the molasses and spices together with the sweetened condensed milk. In a medium sauce pan melt butter. I like to make browned butter, but this is not essential.
Add the condensed milk mixture, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until it boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook 10 to 15 minutes, continue stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and shiny and starts to pull away from bottom and side of saucepan when the pan is tilted.
You will know it is done when you scoop up mixture with the wooden spoon and turn the spoon upside down, and it holds there for an instant before falling back into the pan. Stir in crystallized ginger. Pour in greased dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Lightly rub your hands with butter and roll about a teaspoon of gingerbread mixture between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar to cover it completely. Place in mini paper baking cups. I used red Wilton Candy Cups.
These tasty treats keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week and can be frozen for 30 days.
If you are lucky enough to score some Santa mini paper baking cups at Michaels you can add a red hot candy on the top to make them even more festive.
Bon-Bons make great holiday hostess gifts or round out a cookie exchange superbly. Click here for the traditional Brigadeiro recipe.
- 1 can condensed milk
- 3 teaspoons molasses
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (I use KerryGold)
- ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger (I use Melissa's Produce)
- ¼ cup white sparkling sugar (I use Wilton)
- Oil an 8-inch pie dish or a plate with butter and set aside.
- Finely chop the crystallized ginger and set aside.
- In a bowl mix the molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt into the condensed milk.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the condensed milk mixture, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until it boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook 10 to 15 minutes, continue stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and shiny and starts to pull away from bottom and side of saucepan when the pan is tilted.
- Stir in crystallized ginger.
- Pour mixture into pie dish; refrigerate until it is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Place sparkling sugar in a small bowl. Lightly rub your hands with butter and roll about a teaspoon of Brigadiero between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar to cover it completely. Place in mini paper baking cups.
- Store tightly covered at room temperature up to 2 days or in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Also can be frozen for 30 days. Makes 15-20 Brigadeiros.
“And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.” – William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost
I say, “If I had but one last meal in the world, my dessert choice would be gingerbread.” – Cathy
…and then, she paused for thought.