The Spanish love to flavor desserts and other dishes with almonds. This list of favorite, traditional Spanish desserts including St. James cake, bienmesabe (Spanish almond cream), polvorones and panellets.
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Almonds are a traditional crop, used in desserts, sauces and more on the island of Mallorca, where people have been growing and cooking with almonds for many centuries. This cake is a combination of French and Mallorcan cuisines, and it is easy to prepare in a little less than one hour.
Eggs, almonds, a lemon, and sugar are all that's needed to make the cake. Grind almonds, grate lemon peel and beat with the yolks and mix in the whites. Bake, and you have a lovely dessert. Serve with almond ice cream, as is tradition In Mallorca. Easy recipe for almond ice cream included.
02 of 10
Named in honor of Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain, this is a moist and list almond cake, with less than one cup of flour. St. James Cake is sold in Santiago de Compostela, and all around Galicia, and is very popular with tourists and pilgrims.
03 of 10
Pantxineta in Basque, or Panchineta in Spanish, this delicious dessert is a traditional pie from the Basque Country (Pais Vasco) of Spain. With an elegant presentation, it is a deceptionally simple dessert to prepare. Bake the pastry cream between two puff pastry sheets, and cover with coarsely chopped almonds and hazelnuts and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
04 of 10
Panellets are a traditional sweet from the region of Cataluña, prepared for All Saints Day, or in Spanish Dia de Todos los Santos. They are often served with moscatel wine, or cava, Spanish sparkling wine. Panellets are made of equal parts of ground almonds and sugar, then formed into balls and decorated with pine nuts, or rolled in cocoa powder, candied cherries, or coconut flakes. Panellets can be flavored with espresso coffee or ground cinnamon.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Rich, crumbly polvorones or "Dusty" Almond Cookies are a traditional and tasty cookie, popular in Spain during the Christmas season. This traditional recipe is softer and more crumbly than the other version below.
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Polvorones or Almond Cookies are a delicious cookie, full of almond flavor. They are very popular at during Christmas, and this version is less crumbly and more crispy than other versions. Since the dough is less crumbly and denser, it is easier to prepare at home.
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Small, buttery, puff pastry crust shells, which when baked will puff up, expanding to 2 to 2.5 inches high. Prepare the filling of ground, blanched almonds, then mix them with sugar, eggs and lemon zest. These little volovanes are easy to make; and can be served for brunch, for afternoon merienda with hot coffee or tea, or for dinner.
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First, make the buttery crust, then make the filling of ground almonds, sugar, eggs , and lemon. Roll out the pastry crust, dot with a tablespoon of almond filling, and seal well. Fry in hot oil until golden, then drain. Dust with powdered sugar. In Arnedo, La Rioja these pastries are made especially for Arnedo's Patron Saint festival in September.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Mix shaved chocolate and ground almonds with ladyfingers that have been soaked in liqueur, then bake. The result is a rich-tasting, but light chocolate cake, with almond flavor. Serve for brunch, for afternoon tea, or a divine finish to dinner. Serve with espresso coffee.
10 of 10
Spanish Almond Cream, in Spanish is called "Bienmesabe." It is made of ground almonds, a simple syrup, and a touch of ground cinnamon and lemon zest. Serve by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. "Bienmesabe" is a very traditional dessert of Arabic origin, and is still a very popular dessert in the Canary Islands.