Beijinho (pronunciation: bay-gee-nio) means “little kiss” in Portuguese, and these delectable little balls of coconut goodness lend themselves perfectly to their name.
Rolled in sugar or coconut and often adorned with a clove on top, the traditional Brazilian treat is not only super easy to make, it’s also fun to do— perfect for the kitchen-creative little ones in your family to partake of— and whether or not you’re a novice chef or have super savvy kitchen skills.
It stores well in the fridge in a plastic container for up to five days; they’re also tastier when served cold. Beijinho is a very forgiving dessert that can be dressed up exotically in the flavors or lemon, pumpkin, or peanut butter-chocolate to name a few, or enjoyed in classic form. This recipe is the classic variation.
Add a drop of red food coloring to make it festive for Valentine’s Day, sprinkle in some dried rose petals (available online) or with a sliced strawberry inserted in the middle as you roll the dough into balls. Whatever way you enjoy your “little kiss” this Valentine’s Day, be sure to do so with someone you love.
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (plus more to dredge)
1 Tbs unsalted butter, softened (plus more to grease)
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
red candied hearts (optional)
Add the condensed milk, coconut and butter together in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir to mix well. Turn the gas on the stove to medium, and stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes (or until the mixture begins to clump together, and the bottom of the pot becomes visible when stirring).
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the dough to a greased plate and refrigerate until cool. With greased hands, roll ½ Tbs of the mixture into balls. Spread coconut on a plate, and gently roll each ball in the coconut until fully covered. Adorn with a red candied heart or the decoration of your choice, and place in a bonbon cup to serve.