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Pimental Family Biscoitos Recipe (Portuguese Tea Biscuits)

Dessert -

Pimental Family Biscoitos Recipe (Portuguese Tea Biscuits)

This is an old fashioned recipe straight from the island of São Miguel. This is a handwritten recipe from my grandmother (Vovó).
Portuguese Cookies Biscoitos (Portuguese Tea Biscuits)
Biscoitos are very popular and traditional Portuguese butter cookies. These cookies are perfect for any occasion especially for the holidays. I love these any time of year. Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Buttery, not too sweet, & traditionally made in the shape of an O.

  • 2 ½ pounds flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon shortening
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baker's ammonia*
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, melted

  1. Dissolve the baker’s ammonia in a little milk. 
  2. Mix flour, eggs, shortening, sugar, and ammonia mixture all together until completely blended.
  3. 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.
  4. Take ¼ inch balls of dough and mold into a 5 inch long roll.
  5. Bring the ends together (to create the O shape), and pinch closed at the ends.
  6. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through.

* Baker's Ammonia - also known as ammonium bicarbonate (and often sold as ammonium carbonate), was the primary leavening agent used by bakers before the advent of baking soda and baking powder in the 19th century. Despite the overwhelming use of baking powder and baking soda in modern baked goods. Baker's Ammonia leaves none of the soapy-tasting residue of baking powder or baking soda. Baker's Ammonia can be bought at Walmart, Amazon or other online retailer. You can substitute baking powder for ammonium carbonate in a pinch, but the final baked product may not have the same texture.