Portuguese Biscoitos

Tara Pacheco Recipe

By Tara Pacheco tnj2008


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.


2 1/2 lb
1 1/2 c
1 1/2 stick
1 1/2 Tbsp
1/2 jar(s)
baker's ammonia (or approximately 1 oz)

Directions Step-By-Step

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.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cookies, Other Desserts
Other Tag: For Kids

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Tara Pacheco tnj2008
Apr 26, 2013
The amonia can be found in specialty Portuguese markets, or online through King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com - it can be difficult to find!

Yes, I love to get my hands on that book when I can as well. So many great things in there. I have not tried Fatias da China. But I will be on the look out for it!

Bem-vindo, Gilda. Enjoy :)
gilda mattoso GildaGourmet
Apr 25, 2013
Hi Tara
I would like to try this old Portuguese Biscoito.. What kind of shortening did you use? And the amonia were can I find this?
This old cooking book must be a precious think, I would love to get my hands on it! ahaha
find me a recipe of Fatias da China, delicious dessert.
Muito obrigada.
Tara Pacheco tnj2008
Mar 10, 2012
But personally, next time, I am probably not going to mess with this recipe and try to substitute anything! lol
Tara Pacheco tnj2008
Mar 10, 2012
So I tried making these with the equal parts baking soda/powder. However, it did not even come out close to the right texture. If you need to sub, I would JUST use baking powder. I also would adjust the temp to 350.
Jan 3, 2012 - Tara Pacheco shared this recipe with discussion group: EXOTIC, ETHNIC N' REGIONAL SPICES, INGREDIENTS AND FOODS