Monday, July 23, 2012

RECIPE - Peanut Paçoca (Paçoca de Amendoim)

These sweet and nutty dessert or snack bars are extremely versatile - they are great as part of a dessert buffet, they can be served as a late-afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee, or they can be wrapped in wax paper or plastic film to become part of a lunchbox lunch.

Called paçoca de amendoim, meaning peanut paçoca in Portuguese, this treat is one of two very different Brazilian dishes that share the paçoca moniker. (Click here to read about the two paçocas and here to get the recipe for the "other" paçoca.)

Unlike the dried-meat paçoca, this sweet one is easy to make and requires no special Brazilian ingredients or long preparation time. You'll just need a food processor. If you know anyone with a predilection for peanut butter treats of any type, including Reece's, they will love you forever if you serve them paçoca de amendoim. 100% guaranteed.
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RECIPE - Peanut Paçoca (Paçoca de Amendoim)

2 cups peanuts, roasted, unsalted, without skins
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 cups dried bread crumbs
pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk
additional roasted, unsalted peanuts for garnish.
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Using a full-sized food processor, process the peanuts until they are finely ground. Do not overprocess them. You want very finely ground peanuts, but not peanut butter. Stop processing at the point that the ground peanuts beging to release their oil.

Put the ground peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, the bread crumbs and salt with a wooden spoon. Continue to mix with the spoon until you have a homogenous mix. Using buttered hands knead the mixture until it is pliable and consistent.

Put the mixture in a pre-buttered rectangular baking or loaf pan. Tamp it down well, then using your fingertips, or the back of a spoon, smooth out the surface.

Refrigerate for at least three hours. Cut into two inch squares and, if desired, press one peanut into the top of each square to decorate.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipe translated and adapted from Receitas da Tia Dete.

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