Leaves are changing color, the nights are closing early, pumpkins are being carved and windows are being adorned with spiders webs and ghouls. But, Halloween, in Spain, won’t consist of “trick or treaters” knocking at your door! In fact only in recent years has Halloween started to dominate the shops in Spain and in a few more years will probably become as big as in the U.S and the U.K.
Halloween, October 31st, is All Saint’s Eve and in Catalonia, Spain, it is All Saints Day, November 1st, which is the day that is celebrated.
All Saints is a time to be with the family, by the fire and recounting stories, eating chestnuts and sweet potatoes and a day to visit your departed ones in the cementery. A traditional delicacy for All Saints Day are the sweet “panellets” and here below is a Traditional Spanish Recipe of step by step Panellets for you to try at home!
Panellets, Catalan for “little breads,” are a traditional dessert served in Catalonia, Spain, on All Saints Day, November 1st. To serve in traditional Catalan style, drink some Spanish cava (Spanish champagne) or moscatel with them.
Ingredients for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe (Servings: 32):
- 1 lb. ground almonds
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 -1 cup water
- 1 small potato
- grated peel of 1 lemon
- 3-4 drops lemon juice
- pine nuts (and egg whites if using)
- sweetened cocoa powder
- candied fruit
- instant coffee powder
- coconut flakes
Method for Traditional Spanish style Panellets Recipe:
Blanch almonds, then grind in a food processor into a fine dust.
Peel potato, cut into quarters and boil until cooked. Drain the water and mash with a fork.
Place sugar in a medium saucepan with ½ cup of water and heat over a medium flame until sugar is dissolved (pour more water in if necessary). Then bring to a boil, stirring often.
Add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Lower heat and simmer until mixture is a thick syrup.
After removing the pan from the heat, use a large wooden spoon to gradually stir in the ground almonds, cooked potato and grated lemon peel. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 380 ºF and grease cookie sheets. Spoon out the dough with a teaspoon and roll into small balls with your palms. Then roll the balls in powdered cocoa or whole pine nuts. Before using pine nuts, brush each with a bit of egg white. Put on greased cookie sheet.
You can add flavor to the mixture if you want by separating a portion of the dough with your hands and working in a bit of instant coffee flakes, candied fruit or cinnamon. Then roll back up into individual balls.
Bake just long enough to brown the pine nuts, usually about 4 minutes. Remove the panellets immediately using a spatula before they cool and stick to the cookie sheet.
Not just for All Saint’s Day, these warm, squishy sweets are especially comforting during the cold and crisp days of fall – that’s why we always stop to try some in our favorite Barcelona pastry shops on our Barcelona food and Wine Weekend Tour.