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Pave de Biscoito Maria (Layered Cookie Tart)

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“Lovely Brazilian dessert recipe from the CookBrazil website (I make this one often). Not exactly a dieter's dream, but some fat-free ingredients can be substituted to cut the calorie and fat count without compromising the dish. Although prep and cook times are long, very little of it is hands-on (chilling time and boiling of the dulce de leche are included).”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. NOTE: Maria cookies are usually found in the ethnic/Hispanic foods section of grocery stores. Hard ladyfingers or graham crackers may be substituted.
  2. Remove label from condensed milk can.
  3. Place UNOPENED can in a large saucepan and cover it with water.
  4. Boil for 1 to 1. 5 hours, making sure that the top of the can is always covered with at least a half-inch of water to prevent an explosion (if the water level becomes too low, just add some more hot water to the pan until can is sufficiently covered).
  5. Remove can from water with tongs or a strainer and set aside to cool.
  6. Allow can to come to room temp before opening (hot can is under pressure and will spray you if opened).
  7. With a mixer, beat the butter/margarine and sugar until well-mixed (3-5 min. depending on strength of your mixer).
  8. Add yolks, one by one, beating well after each addition.
  9. Add cocoa powder now if you want a chocolate pavé (very good this way).
  10. Beat in vanilla extract and heavy cream (beat only until mixture is homogeneous and fluffy- it will become grainy if overmixed).
  11. Pour milk or half-and-half in a shallow dish for moistening cookies.
  12. In a 2-quart glass casserole or 8x8" dish, dip cookies one by one and form a layer to cover the bottome of the casserole.
  13. Next, spread half of the butter-cream mixture over the cookies.
  14. Top with another layer of moistened cookies and rest of the butter-cream mixture, ending with a layer of moistened cookies.
  15. Spread entire can of room-temp dulce de leche over the dessert.
  16. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts, and decorate with maraschino cherries that have been patted dry.
  17. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnite to allow layers to fully blend.

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