My best friend in the whole wide world is currently teaching English to children in Spain for the next 9 months. She is staying in Catalonia and I love hearing all of her stories regarding their culture and lifestyle. One of her recent sharings was that of panellets. She is a healthy eater and loves to share a good food recipe with me when she finds one. She made panellets with her host family and snapped a few pictures and told me to check them out as she thought I would like them. I did a little research on my own to learn a bit about the heritage involved in these cute little cookies. So here are a few facts I found:
Panellet is Catalan for “little breads”.
Panellets are eaten on All Saints Day (November 1).
All Saints Day is known as Castanyada in Catalonia and several other areas of Spain to include Ibiza and the Land of Valencia.
Panellets are made with marzipan, which is almond flour and sugar.
Panellets are generally accompanied with a sweet wine.
The most popular way to make panellets is to roll them in pine nuts, although other toppings are used as well.
I looked up a ton of panellet recipes and they are all pretty similar. The only difference I really saw was that some used plain potato instead of sweet potato and then some used egg and others didn’t. Obviously I chose the egg free route but then I chose to use sweet potato for some natural sugars and festive fall color. The end result was great! A light but dense cookie that is lemony and nutty and is perfect with my morning cup of coffee or for a pick me up snack in the afternoon. I have not tried it with the traditional sweet wine as I think the cookie is sweet enough on its own. Although, I may have to give it a shot just to see how it is traditionally eaten!
Let me know if you give these Catalan cookies a try! I really enjoyed them and they are different than anything I have ever made before. Tag me @peppers_peaches and use my hashtag #peppersandpeaches!
- i cup almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour)
- 1 medium sweet potato, cooked (about ½ cup mashed)
- ½ cup cane sugar (more or less to taste)
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon (about ½ tbs zest)
- Lemon juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup pine nuts
- **can use shredded coconut instead of pine nuts if you would prefer)
- Add hot water and sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Now add sweet potato, almond flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the bowl with sugar and water.
- Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. I recommend using your fingers for this part to make sure the sweet potato is fully broken up.
- Leave dough in the mixing bowl, cover loosely and place in fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
- Take chilled dough out of fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a melon baller or ice cream scoop, spoon small balls of dough and roll them in pine nuts or coconut flakes. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Dough will remain pillowy, this is not your standard cookie. Wait until cookies are completely cooled to serve.