Panellets

Panellets are a Catalan sweet meaning "little bread." They start popping up in bakeries for All Saint's Day and continue to be eaten throughout the winter in Catalonia. Here is a vegan version for those of us who are tired of looking at them through the bakery window.

Makes 15 panellets

What you need:

1 sweet potato
1 cup sugar
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 lemon zest

variations:
candied (glacé) cherries
espresso powder
pine nuts
coconut flakes

Boil the sweet potato until very soft and drain in a colander. In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato until a creamy paste forms. Mix in the crushed almonds, sugar, and lemon zest until well incorporated. This is your base dough for the different variations of panellets. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees celsius (500 fahrenheit) and roll out foil onto a cookie sheet (or coat lightly with oil).

For the cherry version: Roll dough into small balls and press onto cookie sheet. Press the middle of the balls lightly with your thumb to create space for the cherries. Push the cherries into the indentions.

For the pine nut and coconut versions: Pour pine nuts (or coconut) onto a plate. Roll the dough into small balls and roll the balls around in the pine nuts (or coconut flakes) until completely covered.

For the coffee version: Mix espresso powder into the dough (taste dough to determine how much you'd like). Form the dough into log shapes.

Bake panellets for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. They are said to be better a day or two after baking.

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