Panellets are sweets (quite energetic) typical of Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. It is a traditional recipe for All Saints’ Day.
They are made with marzipan, that is, almonds and sugar, although they are usually ‘fattened’ with potatoes or boiled sweet potatoes. The typical ones are topped with pine nuts, but as with most traditional sweets, we can find many variations. The most normal ones are those that add pure cocoa or grated coconut to the dough, covering them with icing sugar or more grated coconut. This year, to try it out, I made the traditional ones and the chocolate ones, because of course, although Mário (like most children and not so children) can’t find bitter sweets, if they have chocolate, better than better.
You can buy them ready-made in any pastry shop or make them yourself, decorating them to your liking. For this, we opted for pine nuts, almonds, chocolate and cherries, but if you prefer, you can adapt the decoration and choose other foods.
Preparing this sweet at home is very simple, so write down the ingredients and discover with us how to make sweet potato panellets in a simple way.
Ingredients to make Sweet Potato Panellets:
- 500 grams of ground almonds
- 500 grams of sugar (2½ cups)
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 eggs
- For decoration:
- 500 grams of pine nuts
- 500 grams of chocolate chips
- 500 grams of chopped almonds
- 1 jar of cherries in syrup
How to make Sweet Potato Panellets:
Before starting the recipe for homemade sweet potato panellets, prepare all the ingredients and preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Then mix the ground almonds with the sugar in a container with enough capacity. Once this is done, beat the eggs separately and add them to this mixture. You can add beaten eggs with a spoon or spatula.
Once well mixed, to continue with the panellet dough you must peel the sweet potato and chop it as you see in the image. This way it will be easier for you to integrate it later.
Now add the chopped sweet potato to the mixture and mash everything with your hands, otherwise you won’t be able to integrate it correctly. You should knead until you get a consistent dough, similar to that of biscuits but less compact. Let the sweet potato panellet dough rest for two hours to allow it to harden a little.
After the time, knead again and make balls with your hands to form homemade panellets. The balls must be the size of a golf ball. Then prepare the ingredients for decorating the sweet potato panellets in separate containers.
To decorate the panellets, take a ball and dip it in the pine nuts. With this ingredient, you will probably have to squeeze the balls a bit so that the pine nuts stick well.
Do the same with the chopped almonds and chocolate shavings, but without the need to press the sweet potato panellets, as these ingredients easily adhere to the candy.
And if you want to decorate them with cherries, just cut the cherries in half, flatten the cookies a little, make a hole in the center with your finger and place the half cherry inside.
Now, place the pine nut and sweet potato panellets, and all the others, in a metal tray suitable for the oven, or line the tray you normally use with parchment paper. Beat an egg separately and with a kitchen brush paint all the panellets so that the decorations are completely fixed. Then bake for 15-20 minutes, taking care that they don’t burn, as depending on the power of the oven, they may take less time to bake.
When they are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool before eating. It is tradition to serve this sweet on the night of October 31st, accompanied by roasted chestnuts and roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and sugar. And if you liked the recipe for sweet potato panellets but want to know other variants, know that you can also prepare them with potatoes.