Cooking Around The World: Panellets (Andorra)

This challenge is making me realise that my geography knowledge is quite poor! Andorra came up on the random country generator, and as I didn't have a clue where it was, I had to do a quick read on Google. For those who need filling in as well, the Principality of Andorra is a landlocked microstate bound by Spain and France.

I read up on a lot of dishes, and then finally settled on making panellets. These are cookies traditionally made from almond, sugar and eggs and eaten on All Saints' Day, often with a glass of sweet wine. There are many variations of flavours - pine nuts, coconut, coffee, chocolate, fruit and the list goes on.

Most of the recipes I found were very similar, only differing in the ratio of almonds to sugar. I used this recipe to guide me, though I would recommend increasing the amount of sugar. Traditional recipes use a 1:1 ratio of almond to sugar, but if you think that might be too sweet, you will still need at least a 2:1 ratio.

Panellets coated in pine nuts are the most traditional of them all. 

For the coconut variation, I mixed some desiccated coconut into the paste and then coated it with some more. 

For a chocolate variation, I mixed some cocoa powder into the paste and placed an almond slice in the centre.

Some other variations that I made were peanut butter (mix a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter into the paste) and raspberry jam (make a dent in the ball with your thumb and fill it with some raspberry jam, then dust with icing sugar).

Here's what they look like fresh out of the oven!

Hubby loved the pine nut panellets, whereas I really enjoyed the raspberry jam ones. After further reading, I found out that authentic panellets shouldn't contain any potatoes (they are added to reduce the amount of almonds needed) so I will search for a traditional recipe next time! 

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