Panellets Recipe - Catalan Almond Sweets

" Panellets" ( CC BY-SA 2.0) by Queralt jqmj
  • 49 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 4 mins
  • Yield: 32 cookies (32 servings)

“Panellets” are a traditional sweet from Cataluña, prepared for “Dia de Todos los Santos” or All Saints Day and served with moscatel or “cava,” Spanish sparkling wine. It is made of equal parts ground almonds and sugar, formed into balls and decorated with pine nuts, rolled in cocoa powder, candied cherries or coconut flakes. They can also be flavored with coffee or cinnamon. The most popular type is the one rolled in pine nuts.

What You'll Need

  • 1 lb. almonds (ground raw)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1 small potato
  • lemon (peel only, grated)
  • 3 to 4 drops  lemon juice
  • Garnish: pine nuts
  • Garnish: sweetened cocoa powder
  • Optional: Candied fruit (for flavoring)
  • Optional: instant coffee powder (for flavoring)
  • Optional: coconut flakes (for flavoring)

How to Make It

  1. Blanch almonds, then grind in food processor until almonds are a fine dust.
  2. Peel the potato and cut into quarters. Boil potato in a saucepan until cooked. Drain water and mash with a fork.
  3. Place sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour 1/2 cup water into the pan and stir to dissolve sugar. Add more water to completely dissolve sugar if necessary. Place on medium heat on stovetop and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is a thick syrup.
  1. Remove saucepan from heat. Using a large wooden spoon, gradually stir in ground almonds, potato and grated lemon peel. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 380° F. Grease cookie sheets. Spoon out dough with a teaspoon. Roll dough into small balls in your palms. Then roll the balls in powdered cocoa or pine nuts. If using pine nuts, brush each with a bit of egg white. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  3. If you want to flavor the cookies, separate a portion of the dough and with your hands, work in some instant coffee flakes, candied fruit or cinnamon. Then make individual balls.
  4. Bake cookies just long enough to brown the pine nuts - about 4 minutes. Using a spatula, remove immediately before cookies cool.