Panellets: A Taste of Tradition in Spanish Desserts

Panellets: A Taste of Tradition in Spanish Desserts

The Alluring World of Panellets

From the heart of Catalonia, Spain, comes a delightful treasure trove of confectionery, the Panellets. These small, sweet gems are a testament to the rich tapestry of Spanish desserts, particularly Catalan cuisine. Ground almonds, a hallmark of this region, play a starring role in these delectable treats, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s as traditional as it is irresistible.

A Brief History

Before we dive into the magical world of Panellets, let’s journey back in time and explore the origins of these Hispanic desserts. Panellets have a long and storied history, dating back to the 18th century in Catalonia. They were originally created to celebrate All Saints’ Day, also known as La Castanyada. This delightful tradition involved a harvest festival celebrating the autumnal bounty, and Panellets were a centerpiece of this celebration.

The Main Ingredient – Ground Almonds

Panellets are a prime example of how a few humble ingredients can result in an extraordinary taste. Ground almonds, or “almendra molida” in Spanish, are the star of this show. These fine almond crumbs contribute not only to the texture but also to the distinct nutty flavor that sets Panellets apart from other Spanish pastries.

H3: Variations Galore

Spanish pastry enthusiasts appreciate the versatility of Panellets, which allows for a range of flavor variations. While the classic version boasts a perfect balance of ground almonds and sugar, creative bakers often incorporate other ingredients to add depth to the taste.

Marzipan Magic: A common variation involves adding marzipan to the mixture, resulting in an even smoother, sweeter texture. The amalgamation of marzipan and ground almonds gives the Panellets an exquisite marbled appearance.

Citrus Zest Extravaganza: For a refreshing twist, try adding citrus zest to the dough. The zest of oranges or lemons provides a zingy contrast to the sweetness of the almonds, elevating the flavor profile to new heights.

Chocolate Dreams: If you’re a chocolate aficionado, you can introduce cocoa powder to the mixture. This variation transforms Panellets into a cocoa-infused delight, perfect for satisfying your chocolate cravings.

Baking Panellets – Tips and Tricks

Making Panellets is a delightful culinary adventure, but it’s not without its nuances. To help you achieve confectionery perfection, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

Balancing Act: Achieving the perfect balance of ground almonds and sugar is crucial. Too much sugar can overpower the almond flavor, while too few almonds may lead to a crumbly texture.

Egg Yolk Binder: Egg yolks not only bind the ingredients together but also impart a subtle richness. Be sure to mix them evenly into the dough for a uniform texture.

Pine Nut Perfection: When it comes to coating your Panellets, pine nuts are the traditional choice. To ensure they stick, press the sugared dough firmly onto the pine nuts. This gives your Panellets their signature appearance.

Sweet Inspiration – Spanish Dessert Ideas

Now that you’ve unlocked the secrets of Panellets, it’s time to explore how you can incorporate these almond desserts into your culinary repertoire.

Festive Celebrations: Panellets are an ideal addition to any holiday celebration. The nutty sweetness and versatility make them a hit during Christmas, Easter, and, of course, the original All Saints’ Day.

Tea Time Treats: Pair these Spanish delights with a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon treat. The subtle almond flavor complements your favorite brew perfectly.

Gifts from the Heart: Homemade Panellets make for heartwarming gifts. Craft a batch, pack them in decorative boxes, and share the love with your friends and family.

In conclusion, Panellets are a shining example of the rich culinary heritage of Spanish desserts. Ground almonds, a cornerstone of this delectable treat, create a symphony of flavors and textures that are as unique as they are irresistible. With variations to suit every palate and a history that spans centuries, Panellets are a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey into the enchanting world of Spanish confectionery. Your taste buds will thank you!


Panellets: A Taste of Tradition in Spanish Desserts

Panellets are a traditional Catalan dessert typically made during All Saints' Day (La Castanyada) in Catalonia, Spain. These small, round sweets are made from a mixture of ground almonds, sugar, and sometimes potato or sweet potato. They are often coated with pine nuts and come in various flavors. Here's a basic recipe for traditional almond panellets:
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 25 Panellets


For the almond mixture:

  • 2 cups Ground almonds (250g)
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar (200g)
  • 2 Large egg yolks
  • 1 Lemon zest (optional)

For coating:

  • Pine nuts
  • Granulated sugar
  • A few whole almonds (optional)


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds and granulated sugar. If you want to add a hint of lemon flavor, you can also mix in the lemon zest at this stage.
  • Add the egg yolks to the almond and sugar mixture. Mix well until you have a smooth, thick dough. You can use your hands to knead it together.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Now, it's time to shape the panellets. Traditionally, they are small, round, and bite-sized. You can take small portions of the dough and roll them into balls, about the size of a walnut.
  • Roll each ball in granulated sugar, covering it completely.
  • Place a small amount of pine nuts on a plate and gently press the sugared ball of dough into the pine nuts. The pine nuts should stick to the dough.
  • You can also use whole almonds to decorate some of the panellets. Press a whole almond onto the top of some of the panellets.
  • Place the finished panellets on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between them.
  • Bake the panellets in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them to avoid over-baking.
  • Once the panellets are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.
  • Once they have cooled, you can enjoy these delicious Catalan treats. They are best when freshly made but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.


These panellets can be customized by adding different flavors, such as cocoa powder, vanilla, or even coffee. Feel free to get creative with your variations, and enjoy this sweet Catalan tradition!
Keyword dessert
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