This traditional Catalan panellets recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and easy to customize with a variety of different toppings.
- 3 eggs, divided
- zest of one small lemon
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) packed brown sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) Yukon gold potato, cooked, peeled and mashed with a fork
- 18 ounces (500 grams) almond flour
- 12 ounces (350 grams) raw pine nuts or finely-chopped almonds (or a 50/50 mix of both)
- Make the marzipan. In a large mixing bowl*, stir together one egg, lemon zest and brown sugar until combined. Add in the mashed (cooked) potato and stir until combined. Gradually add in the almond flour and stir (or you may need to use your hands) the dough until it is completely combined, taking care not to overwork the dough. At this point, you can either begin to roll out the dough. Or you can shape it into a disk, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours until ready to use.
- Roll the panellets. Roll the marzipan dough into 1-inch balls (for the pine nut version) or 1-inch little logs (for the almond version), about 20 grams each. Whisk one egg in a small bowl, and place the pine nuts or almonds in a second bowl. Dip a dough ball into the egg mixture until it is completely coated. Then transfer the dough ball to the bowl of nuts, and use your hands to gently press the nuts so that the entire ball is covered. (This takes some patience and will require you to get your hands dirty, so plan for this step to take some time.)
- Prepare the oven. Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Brush the panellets. Place the rolled panellets onto a large parchment-covered baking sheet. Whisk the final egg plus 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl. Then brush each of the panellets with the egg wash.
- Bake. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops of the panellets are lightly golden. (Be sure to keep a close eye on them so that the nuts do not burn.)
- Serve. Enjoy the panellets while they are nice and warm. Or you can store them in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
*Food processor option: Instead of mixing the marzipan by hand, I pulsed everything together (using the same order of ingredients) in a food processor — which worked great!
*Refrigerating the dough: Many traditional recipes suggest refrigerating the dough until it is completely chilled before you roll out the dough balls. But we skipped this step and they rolled out just fine. :)
*Source: Big thanks to my friend, Laura, for this recipe!