Portuguese Biscoitos

The Cook

Tara Pacheco Recipe
Well Seasoned
Fall River, MA (pop. 88,857)
Member Since Sep 2011
Tara's notes for this recipe:
This is an old world recipe straight from the island of São Miguel. My mother in law has a recipe book she made in Portugal as a young girl. It's one of those hand written recipe books, that has aged pages and is falling to pieces. One that I would love to get my hands on, lol.. last night, for the upcoming holiday, we gathered the kids and made this recipe from out of that book. Biscoitos are a biscuit-like, dunking cookie. Buttery, not too sweet, & traditionally made in the shape of an O. All the mixing was done by hand. Which is a little more work, but I think makes a difference in the end.
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Dissolve the ammonia in a little milk.
Mix flour, eggs, shortening, sugar, and ammonia mixture all together until completely blended.
Make a well in the center of your dough. Add the melted butter into the center and continue mixing until smooth. If the dough still seems dry, you can add some warm milk.
Take 1/4" balls of dough and mold into a 5" long roll.
Bring the ends together (to create the O shape), and pinch closed at the ends.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through.

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user susan kelly sookiewoman - Dec 19, 2011
I have never heard of bakers ammonia. what is it? where do you get it? love old recipes and these look wonderful but I'm stumped. Thanks!
user Beth M. BakinTime - Dec 20, 2011
"ditto" Susan's question re: "bakers' ammonia". Could it be leavening like baking soda?
user Tara Pacheco tnj2008 - Dec 20, 2011
Hi Susan! I know.. at 1st, I was stumped as well. But it is a leavener - that makes the biscuits crisp. King Arthur Flour makes it, and a few other companies. Also found in specialty markets. It is also called "hornsalt" or "ammonium carbonate".

OR substitute: 1 teaspoon Baker's Ammonia = 1 teaspoon Baking Powder plus 1 teaspoon Baking Soda. It may not have the same exact end result - but I am sure just as yummy :)

The recipe called for "a half a jar". Which the jar we had was about a 2 ounce jar. It has a strong smell - but it will go away after baking. Just DON'T eat the dough! LOL
user Tara Pacheco tnj2008 - Dec 20, 2011
Beth, I hope this helps!

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