This recipe is for the Azorean Biscoitos ring-shaped biscuits that are the perfect balance of crunchy and sweet with a hint of lemon.
The Portuguese are known for their love of sweets, and these delicious biscuits are no exception. Made from pantry staples like flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and butter; they can be served with coffee or tea as a snack or dessert. Hint: They’re a perfect dessert to my popular Shrimp Mozambique dinner or a crunchy companion to Portuguese Sweet Rice Pudding!
Just like Vovó made, these Portuguese cookies are dry, crunchy, and can be dipped in hot coffee or tea. They are a staple in Azorean Portuguese bakeries across the Northeast and can be found in Portuguese cookie jars or pantries across this region. You know you’re Portuguese when you show up to your Vovó’s (grandmother) kitchen and these were spread out from the counter to the tables! Boy, do I miss those days!
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following ingredients:
- Flour – All-purpose flour is the main dough for these Portuguese cookies.
- Butter – Unsalted butter works best.
- Sugar – Granulated variety will add just a touch of sweetness to these biscuit-style cookies.
- Salt – Table salt helps to enhance the flavor of this recipe.
- Milk – Whole milk works best to moisten the dough.
- Eggs – Fresh, large eggs work best at room temperature.
- Baking powder – To helps these puff up a bit (they do not spread)
- Lemon Zest – For an extra added flavor.
- Vanilla extract – For enhanced flavor.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe. Items that are optional or can be substituted will be noted.
- Stand mixer with the paddle attachment for mixing the dough.
- Clean workspace for working with the dough.
- Large baking sheet for baking these.
- Parchment paper to make for easy cleanup.
- Oven adjusted to the center rack for baking.
This recipe is easy to make if you know the right tips and tricks! Here are my tips for ensuring your Portuguese Biscuits come out perfectly.
We use both vanilla extract and lemon zest for an extra flavor to these otherwise dull cookies. They are not meant to be overly sweet hence the reason they also come iced at many bakeries. I do recommend adding both the vanilla extract and the zest for flavor.
If you find your dough to be too sticky add an extra tablespoon of flour to the mixture until it is no longer sticky. If you find your dough is too dry after kneading, add 1 tablespoon of additional milk until the dough is workable with floured hands.
If you want to ice your biscuits, simply follow these instructions once all cookies are baked and cooled. Depending on how many cookies you make, you might need to double this.
- 1 cup of confectionary sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Whisk all of the above ingredients together until thick. Dip or swirl each biscuit in the icing, and repeat until done. Allow icing to set for at least 30 minutes before storing once hardened.
If you want to store your Biscoitos, just follow these easy steps.
These cookies last up to 2 weeks when stored in an airtight container at a temperature between 68-72 degrees with no humidity.
These freeze very well and can be stored in airtight bags or containers for up to 3 months. Just be sure they are not stored near any strong odor foods like fish or garlic. Your cookies will easily absorb these odors.
Follow the recipe below to make Portuguese Biscuits! This recipe makes about, but you can adjust the recipe card for other serving sizes.
Portuguese Biscoitos Recipe (Traditional Biscuit Cookies)
- Standmixer with paddle attachment
- Large Baking Sheet
- parchment paper
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large fresh eggs
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest or extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly flour a clean cutting board or work surface.
- In the bowl of a standmixer, add the butter, and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.
- Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Add the eggs, extracts, and milk and mix until combined.
- Turn down the mixer speed and slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The dough should form a ball on the paddle. If it is too dry add 1 tablespoon of additional milk. If it is overly stick add one tablespoon of flour until it is workable.
- Remove the dough from the stand mixer and knead on the floured workspace. The dough should be the consistency of play dough.
- I used a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to scoop out tablespoon-sized balls.
- On the floured work space, roll on dough with the palms of your hand to create a 5 inch "snake". Bring together the ends to form a ring. Place cookies 1 inch apart of the baking sheet.
- These cookies bake for 18-20 minutes to get toasty deep golden-brown bottoms and tan golden-brown top surfaces. *See images
- Cool cookies for ten minutes before removing and baking the next batch. Repeat the process until all cookies are done.
- Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks time.