Panellets are a typical Catalan sweet that is also common in other places in Spain. They are ideal to enjoy at Christmas, which is why we propose this delicious recipe for Christmas pine nuts.
If you live in Catalonia, you probably know that, today, it is possible to find a wide variety of panellets, for all tastes and flavors, although there is no doubt that the classic and traditional ones are the typical panellets with pine nuts. The truth is that they are a typical sweet not only from Catalonia, but we can also find it in other areas of Spain, such as Valencia, Aragon, the Principality of Andorra and the Balearic Islands.
Although they are traditionally made to be enjoyed on November 1, All Saints’ Day, they also become a typical Christmas dessert that is enjoyed in many houses and homes, and in fact they stand out for being tremendously easy to make.
If we look for their origin, we will probably find them as early as the 18th century, when they were consumed as blessed food in order to be shared after religious celebrations. Thus, for example, at that time the panellets of Santa Cruz or the panellets of San Marcos were already distinguished. However, it is believed that they come from Arab confectionery, mainly due to their almond-based composition and the very influence of Arab culture.
Be that as it may, the truth is that since then panellets have become a very popular typical sweet. In fact, as Baró de Maldà mentions, already in 1807 they were tremendously popular and it was very common to find stalls on the street with these sweets as the main product.
What are panellets and what do they consist of?
They basically consist of sweet dough in the shape of a ball that is made with ground raw almonds, sugar, egg and lemon zest. The outside is coated with egg white and then a layer of pine nuts is placed. Finally, the candy is baked and then left to cool.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this note, although traditional panellets are those that are prepared with almonds, sugar, egg, lemon zest and pine nuts, today we can find a wide variety of recipes: with chocolate, pistachios, orange, coffee , Quince
Christmas panellets recipe
Ingredients you need:
- 500 grams raw almonds (ground)
- 100 grams cooked sweet potato
- 500 grams icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 30 grams of water
- the zest of a lemon
Preparation of the Christmas panellets:
First we are going to cook the sweet potato. To do this, peel it, cut it into pieces and cook in a saucepan with water, at medium temperature until it is tender. Then make a puree with it.
In a large bowl, mix the ground almonds with the icing sugar and the lemon zest.
Preheat the oven to the grill at 170ºC, and cover a baking tray with parchment paper (to prevent them from sticking).
Carefully separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat well. Add the beaten egg whites to the previous dough and knead until you get the right texture. Add the mashed sweet potato and mix well again. Now let the dough rest for a few hours.
Now form balls with the dough, paint them with the egg yolk and coat them with pine nuts. Carefully place them on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Finally take them out of the oven and let them cool.
Note: If you want to make them even more Christmassy you can sprinkle a little icing sugar on top when serving.