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Mar 16, 2012 12:32 PM

Azores sweet treat recipes?

Looking for semi-easy treats for a benefit bake sale . Honoree is of Azores descent and would like to do treats or goodies from the Azores for bake sale items.

Have thought of almond cake and biscotti-type dipping cookie recipes I found online. Any other suggestions? I'm fairly good in the kitchen, but not sure what might people be pleased to find at the bakesale?

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  1. Pastéis de nata must have made their way to the Azores by now, right? Come on.
    Bourdain visited the Azores, but I don't recall him raving about any desserts.
    Maybe someone can chime in with some other suggestions.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      I thought of David Leite and yes, here's a recipe for pasteis de nata:

      My better half (who would be third generation) says the baked good that he really remembers being fed as a kid is Portuguese sweetbread. Wish I could be more help! Sounds like a wonderful project.

      1. re: Vetter

        thanks for the link. I worked for several years with two young men of Portuguese descent. Their Nona brought in plates of 'goodies' for her g'sons to eat--and were usually her homemade sweetbread and slices of linguica. Not cookies. I'm thinking there will be plenty of homemade sweetbread at the bakesale already.

        1. re: toodie jane

          I can't believe I forgot this one - linguica rolls! That was the one thing my sweetie asked me to learn to make. And now I'm addicted, to I make them gluten free.

          1. re: Vetter

            alas, no linguica around here since Mr Da Ponte retired. but how do you make them?

    2. I'd guess that you wouldnt be too wide of the mark if you did more generic Portuguese things.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        ...was think it might be like taking a Prince of Wales cake to a St Patrick's day occasion... ;-)

        1. re: toodie jane

          Don't understand why you would think there was a problem. It is an integral part of Portugal (although an autonomous region and outside the European Union - as are many of the European off-shore islands) and, unsurprisingly, the cuisine pretty much reflects that in the rest of the country.

          1. re: Harters

            not a 'problem' at all, but regional pride. I presume there are limitations or ingredients specific to the islands, or conversely, items not readily available or affordable if they had to be imported, that would figure in Island, rather than mainland, cooking. Thanks for your input.

            1. re: toodie jane

              You may be right. I have never been to the Azores so cannot make specific comment. However, I have been to the Spanish equivalent - the Canaries - on many occasions and, on that basis, would suggest you may very well be wrong.

              Suggest you Google on "Azores cuisine" and see how close are the similarities to "Portuguese cuisine". You'll then be able to make an informed judgement. For example, referring to your OP, whilst almonds are widely grown on the Portuguese mainland, they are not widely cropped on the islands.

      2. I own this book called Portuguese Homestyle Cooking. I am of Azorean stock and so is the author of the book. She has a site here where a few recipes for sweets are available:

        You are right to assume that the cooking of the Azores has some differences with the cooking of the mainland but it's not terribly different. It has mostly to do with the ingredients and even each island has some specialties others don't have, ex. certain cheeses, the use of cilantro, degrees of spiciness, etc.

        1. Via a mirror you can access a defunct Geocities web site Ana Taveira's recipes from the Azores which has some recipes for sweets and breads (although not specific to the Azores).

          You might also search local libraries for the english version of Maria de Lourdes Modesto's "Traditional Portuguese Cooking" which has a very small section on the Azores (speaking from the Portuguese version) or another book she has on sweets (but that is probably only available in Portuguese/Spanish). has some of her recipes online including sweets, but only in Portuguese with european measurements which you could try translating online.

          If the bake sale is before Easter, you might consider lent and any dietary restrictions (some Azorean communities still avoid certain things) when selecting regional recipes. Its probably not realistic to fry things on-site, but fresh malassadas would probably be a hit. Suspiros is something you could do on the simpler end, but not specific to the Azores. Folks are right to point you to sweetbreads, Massa Sovada and bolos levedos tie back to the Azores, so if this is around Easter time doing a Folar with eggs would be appropriate even though its a more general Portuguese tradition.

          As far as ingredients, the Azores have a lot of root vegetables (in particular taro) although that doesn't directly play into baking recipes a whole lot beyond using potato as a starch and maybe sweet potatoes. Squashes and chayote make it into some sweets. Pineapple has taken on a life of its own after being cultured in the Acores as Ananas dos Acores (I believe that greenhouses are used in a lot of the production) which is a smaller, sweeter pineapple so cakes using that are appropriate (or not because its hard to get a comparable pineapple) and passion fruit is another appropriate fruit (maracuja) -- Brazilian passion fruit mousse is really easy to make. One difference in sweets is less dependence on egg yolk sweets compared to Portugual and milk sweets, cheese curd sweets etc are appropriate... but you wouldn't ruffle any feathers bringing pasteis de nata, queijadinha, using port wine and so on.

          1. Thanks to all who provided much thought-provoking information. This was fun. I ended up making a batch of toffee, oatmal crispie cookies, some lemon cupcakes with lemon glaze, and some Almond Cake-lets (cupcakes). I baked them in a stout 1950's cupcake pan, buttered the wells heavily and floured them, baked, then ran a knife around them to ease them out. They had a beautiful crust, no sticking whatsoever. I put them one by one into a tinfoil cupcake pan, poked holes and drizzled/spooned the almond syrup over, topped them with almonds and fit them into my toaster oven. (My regular broiler does not work) . They toasted nicely, then I removed them and put them into foil baking cups and into clear plastic 'old-fashioned' cups and covered with saran for individual servings.

            Off to the benefit!

            My grateful thanks to all who responded, this is the sort of thing that makes the Home Cooking board one of the best on chowhound.