These Catalan treats are made with different toppings, whether pine nuts, coconut, almonds, orange, etc., perfect for a snack! Really simple and yummy to make with sweet potato marzipan.
Panellets, which translates to ‘little breads’ in Catalan, hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Catalonia, Spain. These delightful confections are traditionally prepared for All Saints Day (November 1st) and the Day of the Dead (November 2nd). Crafted with love and care, panellets are part of the region’s culinary heritage. You’ll discover the joy of bringing a piece of Catalan tradition to your own kitchen.
At the heart of panellets lies a luscious almond paste, also known as marzipan. This exquisite base serves as the foundation for various toppings, allowing you to customize your panellets to your liking. Popular topping choices include pine nuts, coconut, almonds, coffee, and more. Among them, the pine nut variation reigns supreme, capturing the essence of traditional Catalan flavours.
With or Without Sweet Potato
When it comes to preparing panellets, you have the option to include or exclude sweet potatoes in the recipe. While some believe that the best results are achieved without potatoes, others argue that the potato version offers superior adherence for the pine nuts to cling onto the delicate almond balls.
An essential step in creating the perfect panellets is allowing the almond paste to rest in the refrigerator for a day before shaping the confections. This rest period allows the almond flour’s natural oils to meld together, creating a beautifully delectable texture.
This recipe also makes nice little treats for Christmas, and the kids can help. The coconut one in Catalonia is usually of pyramidal shape, and the pine nuts panellets are usually round; the almond one is cylindrical, but ultimately its shape is up to you.
You can keep the panellets at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to five days. If you intend to freeze them, you can form them, add the topping and freeze them this way. Let it unfreeze for 10 minutes before adding the egg wash and popping it in the oven.
Other Catalan Dishes
- EGGPLANT, PEPPER AND GOAT CHEESE COCA (CATALAN PIZZA)
- PAN CON TOMATE – PA AMB TOMAQUET
- RABBIT WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE
So let’s make those little treats!
Pine Nuts and Coconut Panellets
- 150 g almond flour
- 150 g sugar
- 100 g sweet potato (cooked)
- 2 egg whites
- lemon zest
- 200 g pine nuts
- 200 g shredded coconut
- 200 g sliced almonds (optional)
- Add the almond flour, sugar and zest to a bowl and mix well.
- Add 2 tbsp of water to the mix and work with your hands until a homogeneous paste.
- Cover with a plastic film and let set in the fridge overnight.
- Next day, make small 2 cm balls (or other shapes) with the paste, add to the egg white, then in the pine nuts (coconut, almond) and cover the balls.
- When they are all done, add a tiny bit of sugar to the egg white and mix; brush the panellets with the egg white left and leave them on a parchment-covered rack.
- Cook in the oven at 180°C (350F°) for 10-12 minutes until the balls are golden. (keep an eye on them)
- Let them cool and get firm before serving.