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St Patrick’s Day Treats

Brigadeiros With White Chocolate and Irish Cream

Brazilian St. Patrick's Day treats: green brigadeiros made with Irish creamjump to recipe button

March 17 is fast approaching. If you are celebrating at home, you will need plenty of St Patrick’s Day treats to keep your guests happy. We offer you this festive spin on a classic Brazilian party snack: brigadeiros made with white chocolate (colored green, of course!) and spiked with delicious Irish cream liqueur. 

What is Irish Cream?

Irish cream is actually an English invention, created in 1973 by Thomas Jago. Jago was a liquor executive from Cornwall. He marketed a drink that combined traditional Irish whiskey with heavy cream, sugar,  and subtle flavorings of vanilla and chocolate. The concoction was sold under the label “Baileys,” which has since become a household name. 

Interestingly, Jago was also the mastermind behind two other famous brands: Malibu flavored rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky. 

When Is St Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of St Patrick, occurs on the same day every year: March 17. This is historically considered the death date of Patrick, a 5th century bishop and missionary who is credited with converting Ireland’s predominantly pagan population to Christianity. 

Patrick’s efforts were later communicated allegorically: the heathen traditions of the pagans were symbolized as snakes, which were driven away from the Isle by St. Patrick. It is a good story, despite the fact that no snakes have ever been known to inhabit Ireland. 

The Feast of St Patrick was officially recognized by the Catholic Church in the 17th century. It is also observed by the Anglican Church, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox denominations.   

St. Patrick’s Day in Brazil

You may be curious to know if Brazilians celebrate St. Patrick’s day in the same way as Americans. In the US, we tend to splash out with parties, parades, greenery, lots of Guinness, and traditional Irish dishes, like corned beef with cabbage. 

While Brazil is not home to as many Irish descendants as the States, it is still a predominantly Catholic country whose citizens also happen to enjoy a good party. Brazilians are embracing St. Paddy’s Day traditions more and more, adopting familiar rituals like wearing green and listening to Irish music.

St. Patrick’s Day in Brazil has become so popular in recent years that, in Rio, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue is lit with a green light for the day! 

What Are Brazilian Brigadeiros?

Brigadeiros are a bite-sized Brazilian dessert made with chocolate and condensed milk. They are similar to American fudge, except they are rolled into balls and served in little candy cups. The traditional recipe originated in the 1940s and was named after Brigadier General Eduardo Gomes, a presidential candidate at the time. The general strong support from female voters, many of whom would prepare the treats for rallies and meetings.  

The traditional Brigadeiro recipe was made with cocoa powder, butter, and condensed milk. Since then, many, many variations have arisen, including today’s St Patrick’s Day treats. The one ingredient that remains constant is condensed milk. Condensed milk desserts have a long history in Brazil. As was the case with Brigadeiros, many home chefs developed recipes using condensed milk during and slightly after WWII, when items like fresh milk and sugar were still rationed.   

Can You Make The Brigadeiros Ahead of Time?

Certainly! You can store either the batter or pre-rolled brigadeiros in the fridge for up to seven days before you serve them. Just remove them fifteen minutes or so to let them soften before eating.

These St. Patrick’s Day  treats will also keep for several months in the freezer. Let them thaw for 60 minutes before rolling them in the sprinkles and placing them in their paper cups.

Kid Friendly St Patrick’s Day Treats

Because we are adding the Irish liqueur to our St Paddy’s day brigadeiros off the heat, they do retain some alcohol content. As such, these treats are not meant for children. You can leave the Bailey’s out entirely to make a kid-friendly version, or you can use an Irish cream-flavored syrup, like the kind they use at coffee shops. 

Brigadeiro Variations

You can have some fun customizing your St Patrick’s Day treats by using different toppings. We used plain, white sugar to dust ours (we wanted to be sure you could see the green color), but you can use almost anything as the finishing touch for yours. Common brigadeiro toppings include:

  • Chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate
  • Shredded coconut
  • Citrus zest
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chopped, dried fruit
  • Crushed M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces

Irish Cream Brigadeiro Recipe


1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3.5 oz white chocolate chips
¼ tsp salt
3-5 drops green food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/4 cup white sugar to coat your St Patrick’s Day treats
20 no. 3 paper candy cups (these ones come in green)


Step 1: Make the Batter

  • Grease a casserole dish or other shallow baking vessel with butter or nonstick spray. 
  • Heat a mid-sized saucepan over medium heat. Melt the tablespoon of butter and mix in the can of condensed milk and salt. 
  • Heat the mixture for a few minutes, stirring frequently. When it is warmed through, add the chocolate chips a little bit at a time. Whisk until all the chocolate has melted.

Step 2: Let the Mixture Thicken

  • Keep stirring the mixture for ten more minutes. This may seem like a long time, but it is necessary to achieve the desired texture. 
  • Do a thickness check: take a rubber spatula and draw it down the middle of the batter in your pan to make a line. If it takes the mixture a few seconds to pool back over the line, you are ready. 

Step 3: Chill the Dough

  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in your vanilla extract and Irish cream. Add a few drops of green food coloring until you reach your desired level of pigment.
  • Transfer your mixture to the greased baking dish and chill in the fridge for one hour.

Step 4: Prepare Your Rolling Station 

  • While the dough chills, prepare your rolling station by lining up your bonbon cups and filling a plate or bowl with your sprinkles. You should need about 20 no. 3 candy cups for this recipe. 

Step 5: Make the St. Patrick’s Day Treats

  • Now, you are ready to make your brigadeiro balls. Measure out about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Then, roll the ball into the dish of sugar, pressing lightly to coat it evenly. Put the finished ball into a candy cup and repeat the process until you are out of dough. 
  • If you wish, you can “stamp” the top of each of your St. Patrick’s Day treats with a little heart or shamrock. Plunger cutters for fondant work well and are available in lots of shapes and sizes. 
  • Serve your Irish cream brigadeiros immediately with hot coffee or a glass of good Irish whisky. 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Texas de Brazil

Want more sweet treats? Visit one of Texas de Brazil’s fine dining locations and be sure to save room for one (or two) of our delectable desserts: cheesecake, papaya cream, carrot cake, creme brulee and more. If you feel like staying in, we’ve got you covered: order catering for pickup to enjoy your favorite churrasco meats, sides, and sweets in the comfort of your own home or office. 

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