answer caret-left caret-right close-large facebook hamburger linkedin mail password question repeat-password thumb triangle twitter username youtube circle-right trending search checkmark pin alert

Tareco Cookies: A Subject of Music and Tradition

Tareco Cookies: A Subject of Music and Tradition

Brazilian food is often thought of as strong and richly flavored, which is great, but sometimes what you want is something simple and easy. A small little treat to nibble on as you drink your coffee. That is what Tareco cookies can help you with.

When you think of traditional Brazilian food what does first come to mind? Maybe the rich and tasty Feijoada or a simple and similar-to-porridge Pirão? Or when it comes to desserts many would say Brigadeiro with its chocolate-rich sweetness or some cookies from Brazil, like the ones in the Complete Collection of Biscuit Types. All of these have a strong and rich taste that excites your taste buds and definitely fits well with the exuberant theme of Brazil. But, sometimes you just want a little treat that is not heavy and overwhelming, maybe a little cookie to nibble on as you drink your coffee (a really Brazilian thing to do). If you are looking for that kind of treat, especially if you are in Brazil, then Tareco biscuits are a great choice! 

What is Tareco?

Tareco is a small round-shaped biscuit that originates from Brazil. It usually consists of wheat or cornflour, eggs, and sugar and has a simple, light taste. This traditional Brazilian cookie with its golden brown color and solid texture is a staple treat for Brazilian families since long ago. Many grannies cook Tarecos for their grandchildren and thus Brazilians consider the little cookie to be a sweet memory of childhood days. It is very similar to popular Brazilian cookies Sequilhos, but there is a small difference between the two: Sequilhos is made with cornstarch, while Tareco is not. Over the years, new ingredients have been added here and there so the Tareco experience is really multifaceted. Whether you eat it as an appetizer, a dessert, or a snack, it does not matter because the cookie’s simple and easy taste makes it a versatile treat. In this article, you are provided with tips on how you can enjoy this wonderful cookie and how to make them on your own if you are interested. Just check out the final subtitle. However, if you want to first find out more about this cookie’s history and popularity, just keep on reading.

What is the tradition in the traditional Brazilian Tareco cookies?

The reason why Tarecos are considered traditional Brazilian cookies is that they have been eaten in this culture for a long time now, specifically since The Age of Exploration. It is believed by some that these crunchy treats were a part of the diet of Spanish and British naval fleets during their expeditions. This means that the cookies came from Europe and were introduced by the settlers to the New World, although there is no confirmation to that story. If the story about Tareco and the explorers is true then the cookies are known to have existed since the 15th century. The Age of Exploration denotes an era circa 100 years from the mid-15th to the mid-16th century when European sailors navigated vast waters to discover new trading routes and explore unknown lands.  Fleets of Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands dominated the sea explorations and discovered new territories. The main goal of the first navigators was to find shorter routes to East Asia in order to make their trade easier. The first such known travel was that of Henry the Navigator, the prince of Portugal, who, although not a navigator himself, sponsored many voyages. His goal was to find a sea route leading to Cathay (nowadays China) by first traveling south and then east. Henry the Navigator initiated great explorations around the globe and many after him embarked on their own journeys.

Tareco biscuit

Photo: Ciceia Almeida/shutterstock.com

Notable names include Dinís Dias, Diogo Cão, and Bartomoleu Dias, who all tried to navigate around Africa in order to find a way to East Asia. In 1500 a Spanish explorer Pedro Álvarez Cabral went south-westward to avoid the calms of the Guinea coast, en route to Calicut and came across Brazil. Maybe he was the one who ate the crunchy Tarecos as he looked at the vast Brazilian shore – who knows. Anyway, as a result of these west travels, the sailors realized that they could sail westward in order to reach East Asia faster. The most famous navigator who undertook this task was the Portuguese Christopher Columbus, who, upon traveling west to reach Asia, discovered the West Indies (Bahamas, Haiti, Cuba, and other countries). Columbus believed to have come to Asia when in reality he revealed to Europeans a new part of the world (hence dubbed the New World). The land of South America was further researched by the Italian merchant Amerigo Vespucci and the Spanish sailor Alonso de Ojeda. The former’s exciting descriptions of the unexplored land and his adventures were the reason why the continent was named after him (Amerigo = America).

A notable name in the Age of Exploration is the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, who embarked on the first circumnavigation of the globe. From 1519 to 1521 Magellan sailed south, then west, and finally east. He came to Brazil and then traveled alongside the coast of South America to Patagonia. Despite many natural obstacles the Patagonian harsh landscape had, the fleet reached the Pacific Ocean and in the end the Philippines. This means that Magellan’s expedition managed to fulfill the long-set goal of the European navigators to reach the East by a shorter path – traveling west. The explorers traded goods between Europe and the new-found lands and inhabited these places. They brought their customs and created new ones. Maybe they brought Tarecos with them too or the Brazilian nation baked them for the first time much later. Either way, this cookie managed to secure a place for itself in the history and tradition of Brazil and gained popularity. But its popularity does not just stop there.

The popular Brazilian cookies

Tareco is a real star in Brazil. Not only is it widely eaten by many, but a part of the popular culture as well. In 1995 Brazilian singer and composer Flávio José released a song called Tareco e Mariola, and as you can probably tell by the title, the Tareco cookies are mentioned. As cookies enthusiasts here at Biscuit People, we applaud this little cookie homage.

Brazilian coffee cookies

Brazil is the main producer of the world’s coffee hence why this beverage is Brazil’s pride. It is cheap and is enjoyed regularly by the citizens. The most commonly drunk coffee in Brazil is Cafezinho, which is a small cup of filtered coffee served at boiling hot temperatures. But the thing about Brazilians’ coffee-drinking habits is that they need a lot of sugar to balance the coffee’s bitterness – coffee for the locals’ use is of a lower quality than the exported one. But to add some sweetness to the coffee you can also eat Tarecos with it. “Why”, you ask? Why not? Come on, it is a beloved Brazilian cookie and the combination is more adventurous than just adding sugar. And Brazil is all about adventure, fun, and celebration, and, well, coffee.

How do you make easy Tareco cookies? 

Brazilians usually eat Tareco with coffee or as an evening snack. It's a great companion when you're just lounging on the couch and watching TV or perhaps YouTube. But you can spice things up a little bit. Try it with tea or milk. For those of you who have a sweet tooth, we recommend spreading some Nutella over it or other chocolate spread as its cracker-like texture fits perfectly with the spread’s creaminess. If you are worried about your weight and unsure if you should try Tarecos, there is still a way to enjoy them and stay in good shape. More on that in this article.

As it is mentioned earlier, Tareco is traditionally made of flour, eggs, and sugar. Yes, simple as that! But what is fun about these cookies is that they can be made either as a crunchy cookie in the oven or, similar to American pancakes, in a frying pan. Even more, you can try them in many varieties! Here are 5 recipes you can try out and see for yourself which one is perfect for you. On more where these recipes came from and some others, check out Receitaria.  Also, one of our articles explains what types of ingredients to use in order to make delicious cookies so if you need any tips, you know where to look.

1. Classic Tareco

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • butter

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, add the egg and sugar ˗ mix well;
  2. Then add salt, milk and gradually add the flour while mixing;
  3. Finally, add the baking powder and stir until it becomes a consistent mass;
  4. Grease a pan with butter, wait for it to warm up, and add little circles of dough with the help of a spoon by leaving space between one piece and another;
  5. Turn the dough to brown on both sides, then place on a plate and serve.

2. Tareco Mineiro

Ingredients:

  • 350 g of unleavened wheat flour
  • 350 g of corn starch
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 250 g of grated cheese
  • 250 g of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 35 g baking powder

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, add the starch, flour, sugar, yeast and mix well;
  2. Then add the butter and mix;
  3. Add eggs and baking powder until they form a firm mass;
  4. Throw a little flour on a counter, take a piece of the dough and make a large roll;
  5. Squeeze that roll to make it flat, then cut into squares and place in a greased pan;
  6. Take to the oven, preheated to 180 degrees, for about 10 minutes or until golden brown;
  7. Place on a plate and serve.

3. Roasted Tareco

Ingredients:

  • 250 g of unleavened wheat flour
  • 250 g of refined sugar
  • 250 g of sweet powder
  • 120 g of corn starch
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 10 g of yeast
  • 125 g of butter
  • 4 eggs

Preparation:

  1. Start by mixing flour, sugar, starch, and salt in a bowl;
  2. Then add the butter, stir until it becomes a dough and, finally, add the eggs;
  3. Knead the dough until smooth and firm, without it sticking to your hand;
  4. Separate the dough into two parts, throw a little flour on a counter and make a large roll;
  5. Knead the dough with a rolling pin until it is flat and then cut into squares;
  6. Place in a greased pan and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown;
  7. Transfer to a plate and serve.

4. Tareco with green corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of green corn
  • 3 tablespoons of wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and beat until it becomes a cream;
  2. Then heat a frying pan, grease with a little oil, and add balls of dough, leaving space between them;
  3. Brown on both sides, transfer to a plate and repeat this process with all the dough; once it is done, you can serve the cookies.

    5. Tareco with vanilla

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, start mixing the egg with sugar, then add the  vanilla extract, salt, milk and stir well;
  2. Gradually, while stirring, add the flour and, finally, baking powder;
  3. When the dough is homogeneous, heat a sandwich maker, butter it, and spread portions of the dough on it;
  4. Close the sandwich maker and, when browned, place on a plate and serve.

Bon Appetite!

These recipes can help you make tasty Tarecos with different tastes and textures: some are soft and chewy, while others are crunchy. If you have some trouble with understanding how to make a cookie chewy or crunchy, we provide you with a few tricks.

What makes cookies chewy vs. crunchy?

It all depends on what ingredients you use and if you allow cookies to spread during baking or not.

Generally, for crunchy cookies, you need to allow them to spread and for chewy cookies, they need to stay more intact and erect. This is done by using ingredients that make the cookies either spread or not spread. The table below shows what to use when you want a specific cookie texture.

 

crunchy

chewy

flour type

all-purpose flour

cake flour

fat

butter

shortening

sweetener type

white sugar or corn syrup

brown sugar

eggs

˗

+

Table 1 Ingredient option depending on the desired texture

Crunchy cookies are made with all-purpose flour because of its high protein content which allows cookies to spread. Butter has a lower melting temperature and a higher protein level which causes crunchiness. For a crunchy texture white sugar or corn syrup should be used as a sweetener. Eggs provide moisture which makes them soft and thus not crunchy, so do not use them if you want a crunchy cookie.

Chewy cookies get their soft texture from cake flour which is lower in protein and creates more steam, which softens the cookie. For fat use shortening because it melts at a higher temperature and stays solid longer. This allows the cookies to stay moist. Brown sugar is acidic and hydrophilic – it retains moisture and makes cookies chewy. Finally, eggs make cookies moist and thus chewy.

Chilling and baking time also plays a role in cookies’ texture. Unchilled cookie dough will spread more and make them crunchy while chilled cookie dough makes a cookie softer. Additionally, if you bake cookies longer, they become crispier, and if you bake them shorter, they will be chewier. In another article, we explain how to bake cookies and crackers for perfect results.

In Brazil, Tareco is popular. With this article completely dedicated to it, it sure will become even more popular. Considering how happy it makes people’s lives in the wonderful country of Brazil it deserves all the popularity.

We are happy to show you just how wonderful the cookie world is. This article provides you with some information about the popular Brazilian sugar cookie Tareco. For our overview of all the cookie types there are, check out this one.

Now that you have finished reading this article, make some coffee, bake Tarecos, and relax. You earned it.

Want to know more?
Ask industry experts in Biscuit People TechTalks section.
Read more from Biscuit types
Read all
The Best Way to Start Your Day – with Coffee and Morning Coffee Biscuit
The Best Way to Start Your Day – with Coffee and Morning Coffee Biscuit
in
Biscuit types
Most of us start our day with coffee or tea or some other beverage to boost our energy in the morning. Many like to have an accompanying snack, especi...
Şekerpare biscuit: ''The main guest'' of Turkish tables
Şekerpare biscuit: ''The main guest'' of Turkish tables
in
Biscuit types
Şekerpare is one of the popular desserts in Turkish cuisine. Mainly prepared by baking some softballs of almond-based pastry dipped in thick lemon-fla...
Top 15 American Cookies: A Part of the American Dream
Top 15 American Cookies: A Part of the American Dream
in
Biscuit types
The USA is the leading economy in the world. There are many things they are first at and we would dare to say they’re the biggest cookie fanatics as w...
Looks like you don’t have a subscription to do that. Want to upgrade?
Upgrade subscription