Panellets: It’s that time of year again

ok, so i once had this boyfriend from beautiful manresa. (don’t let me scare you off – this post is food-related, so bear with me.)

for tots sants (all saints‘ day), and the castanyada (head over to the homepage of fc barcelona to learn about la castanyada) his adorable grandmother made the traditional catalan sweet holiday treat: potato-almond-balls called panellets.

it turned out that long-distance relationships were not really our thing, and with my home base in germany and his in spain catalonia, it was clear that we weren’t going to last. so after a few amazing months together in barcelona (don’t roll your eyes at me) we said our goodbyes and each went our separate ways.

nevertheless, with november approaching fast, i felt the urge to fish the manresean panellets recipe out of my recipe box and make some for my friends and family. who needs halloween candy bars when you can have panellets, right?

to cut a long story short, here’s the recipe for the base dough (you can add coconut, vanilla, or instant coffee to give it a new twist – the sky is the limit!). you’ll need

500 g ground almonds
400 g sugar (i used 300 g of raw cane sugar)
200 g boiled potatoe
the zest of one lemon (make sure it’s edible when you buy the lemon!)

put everything in a bowl and knead until all the ingredients are mixed properly. you should have a thick dough by now. form small (walnut-sized) balls and brush with whisked egg (for this amount of dough, one egg should suffice).

(if you want to cover the dough balls in pine nuts or chopped almonds, do it now.)

put them in the oven: i bake them for 5 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven (170°-180° C). your oven might be different, so just check back every couple of minutes to see if the tops of the balls are already brown.

gently remove from the oven, and let them cool. roll them in cocoa powder, sugar powder, cover them in melted chocolate – or just leave them as they are: squishy goodness!