These lovely treats are often handed out to guests at weddings in Brazil, individually wrapped in tissue paper and ribbon. Bem-casados are sandwich cookies, similar to alfajores, but the "cookie" is really a sponge cake, and the filling is a variation on dulce de leche called doce de ovos (though you could substitute dulce de leche). Guava paste, lemon cream, passionfruit curd, chocolate ganache, nuts, and other fruit jams can be used to fill these cookies as well. The sandwiched cookies are dipped in a sugar glaze, which makes them very distinctive and pretty.
- 1 can condensed milk (14 ounces)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Place the condensed milk, butter, pinch of salt, and 2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites) in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and turns a light caramel color, about 15 minutes. Be very careful to stir constantly towards the end of the cooking time, as the mixture will stick to the pot and burn easily. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet with butter.
- Place all 4 egg whites (reserve remaining 2 egg yolks) in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually while still beating, until stiff peaks form. Add egg yolks and beat to mix.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until just mixed. Place batter in a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip. Pipe 2-inch diameter circles of batter, spaced about an inch apart, on the baking sheet. (or use a spoon to spread batter into a 2-inch circle).
- Bake cookies for 6-8 minutes, until puffed and light golden brown. Remove from oven and trim edges from cookies with a 2-inch cookie cutter if desired. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack while they are still warm, or they will stick to the pan.
- Spread the bottom of one cookie with 1-2 teaspoons of the filling. Top with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Use a fork to dip the cookies in the sugar glaze, then place them on a cooling rack to dry. Do not wrap cookies in paper until they are dry to the touch.
- Store cookies in an airtight container, or wrap them in tissue paper to give as gifts.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||3 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|