It seems that Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple on Earth as neither of them had a mother-in-law!
Mother-in-laws: what a great topic that we never talked about on 196 flavors!
Malicious? Jealous? Authoritarian? Come on, they’re not all the same! There’s nothing we can do though: the mother-in-law “myth” has always been around! In her time, even Aphrodite was a jealous mother-in-law. Just ask Psyche!
Of course, some are lucky enough to have a nice mother-in-law, but this is not the case for everyone. Sly, nosy, shrewish… adjectives are not lacking from those who suffer from their relationship with their mother-in-law.
With all that, wouldn’t mothers-in-law deserve a recipe for their beautiful eyes?
Mother-in-law’s eyes! No worries, I am not recommending you eat the eyes of your mother-in-law. It is just the curious name of today’s recipe: olho of sogra!
In Portuguese, olho of sogra means “eye of the mother-in-law”. It is made with a pitted prune stuffed with a mixture of condensed milk, egg yolk and coconut, and shaped in the form of an eye. The whole thing is then rolled in sugar.
The stuffing is actually a recipe by itself which is called beijinho. Beijinho, or little kiss in Portuguese, is a famous Brazilian treat which is none other than the coconut version of the equally famous brigadeiro that it is made with chocolate.
In Brazil, the tables of children’s birthday parties are always filled with delicious treats, called docinhos (sweets). Most docinhos are prepared with condensed milk (leite moça) and various flavors which. The most classic are
brigadeiro with chocolate, beijinho with coconut, cajuzinho with peanut, and camafeu of Nozes with walnuts.
These pastries that are now part of Brazilian’s culinary tradition appeared in the mid-twentieth century.
But let’s go back to our mother-in-law!
It is said that the original name of this delicacy was olho de cobra (snake eye). Cruel comparison! Brazilian mothers-in-law are known to be tough with their daughter and son-in-law but still…
The first explanation that Brazilians give for the name of this treat is that the future mother-in-law, usually the mother of the girl, had the task of observing the couple who could never be alone. Her eyes were constantly placed on them.
It is also said that this name came about due to an error in the preparation of beijinho (kiss). Indeed, at the request of her son, a mother-in-law taught her daughter how to reduce the beijinho preparation. The daughter-in-law purposely missed the recipe by mixing the prunes to the coconut paste as the mother-in-law had set them aside to decorate the top of each beijinho.
At the birthday party for which they had prepared these treats, when everyone asked “who made this new sweet?”, the stepdaughter answered “that sweet is the work of my mother-in-law.”
What about these olhos of sogra?
I think some of you might have a hard time saying: “my mother-in-law’s eyes are sweet and delicious!” Yet, they are delicious indeed!
And as I am all for the pedagogy of happiness, I would just tell you one thing: becoming a mother-in-law, daughter-in-law or son-in-law can also be a beautiful thing. It is first and foremost about discovering a new family and a new social circle that may be rich in blessings! There are beautiful mother-in-law stories too!
Olho de Sogra is a famous Brazilian confectionery prepared with beijinho, a mixture of coconut and condensed milk, stuffed in a half prune.
- 10 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 egg yolk , at room temperature
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons butter , soft
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 28 pitted prunes
- 2 tablespoons butter , soft (for baking sheet)
- ½ cup sugar
- Mix the condensed milk and egg yolk. Stir in coconut and mix well. Finally incorporate the butter.
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the coconut mixture. Stir constantly until the mixture pulls away from sides of pan. The operation should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread the mixture on a greased baking sheet. Cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Cut each prune in half lengthwise and flatten them. Take a teaspoon of the coconut mixture and roll between the palms of your hands. With the thumb and index, mold each ball into a slightly elongated shape and place it inside a halved prune.
- Repeat until all the mixture and prunes are used.
- Roll each olho in sogra in sugar.