Candy! I Want Candy!: Paçoca, Brazillian Easter Peanut Candy

Candy!  I Want Candy!:  Paçoca, Brazillian Easter Peanut Candy

I’ve admittedly been a little grumpy lately. When asking myself why, I came up with a few ideas:

1.  Spring just won’t cooperate. We’re still solidly in the 40s and below here in Chicago. Come on, warm weather! I want to wear shorts!

2.  Usually around this time of the year, my friends and I are planning some crazy extravagant, international adventure to kick off summer. Last year we hiked Machu Picchu. The year before, Everest Base Camp. This year, the only thing I look forward to climbing are the stairs up to my apartment every day. Not exciting, and definitely no reason to be buying any cool new hiking gear.

3.  I haven’t been anywhere since January. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago so much but if you know me, you’ll know this is probably the longest travel dry spell I’ve been on in about four years. And I’m getting antsy.

These are shallow problems, but nonetheless I find myself in a funk where all I want to do is sit on the couch, watch old episodes of The Cosby Show or Friends and eat Mu Shu Pork.  Since I have a job, and a life, I had to find an alternate fix.  The Solution? Candy. Sugar. Peanut Butter.  Yes, please.
It just so happens that such a remedy exists and combines all three of the above.  Introducing Paçoca, a Brazilian Easter peanut candy.
Paçoca is made with sugar, peanuts and cassava flour.  It’s a specialty made in every Brazilian household for Easter and traditionally eaten on Good Friday.  I had a hard time finding cassava flour for the African dishes I made and was thankfully able to find alternatives, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe, courtesy of Pink Bites, that uses the more accessible Maria crackers, found in the international foods section of the grocery store.  After making this, I feel like graham crackers would work equally well if you can’t find the Marias. Hmm…
Another reason that I found this appropriate for my salute to Easter week is that I usually give up peanut butter for Lent and break my fast with a Reese’s Peanut Butter egg on Easter Sunday.  Paçoca actually tastes a lot like a chocolate-less egg. That, or raw peanut butter cookie dough. Both of these descriptions adequately convey its deliciousness.
My work-folk gave these hearty thumbs up, and since they take all of 10 minutes to make, I suggest you give them a try.
Yields 30
Brazillian Easter Candy
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  1. 9 oz of roasted, skinless peanuts
  2. 1 1/2 packages of Maria Cookies (about 41 cookies)
  3. 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  4. 2 TB sugar
  1. In the food processor, combine peanuts, cookies and pulse until it's well combined and even. Add the sugar and pulse. Add the condensed milk and process until it forms a ball of dough. Transfer to a 9 inch square baking dish lined with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Using your hands, press it very well to form an even layer. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes up to overnight. Remove from the baking dish and cut into squares. Keep it in airtight containers.
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