Vanilla biscuits (in the patuá, literally, “worms”)

This is a traditional Macanese biscuit, shaped like a worm, coated in syrup.

Bicho-Bicho recipe from Maria Celestina de Mello e Senna   Read the original recipe | Leia a receita original

3 cups wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
10 egg yolks
1 tbsp lard
1 lb | 450g sugar
vanilla essence (optional)

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Adding one egg yolk at a time, lightly kneading with the left hand and adding the lard little by little. Continue for a while until the dough no longer sticks to the fingers. If necessary, add a few drops of cold water.

Divide the dough into 5 equal portions, each one in a cylindrical shape more or less a hand-span in length. Cut diagonally into little pieces and twist two or three times.

Fry in lard. When this is done, dissolve the sugar to a thick syrup (adding a few drops of vanilla essence if desired) and, when cool, put in an oval platter and gently toss the bichos, turning so that all are coated with the syrup.
Makes 120-130 bichos.

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