Winter in Barcelona

12 November 2016 0 Comments Category: Barbara de Swaan, blog



After a month or two of “gota fría” (heavy rainfall after a long warm summer), in november the winter starts to present itself. Since Spain is so big, winter can mean something completely different in every region but I can only say that I love the winter in Barcelona.

Ofcourse I love the sun, that’s one of the main reasons to live here, but I very much enjoy the changes of the seasons. After a long period of heat and sun and  sweating, I love to hear the tickling of rain on my roof and thunder nearby. The good thing is that in Spain it tends to rain more during the night than during the day, so it doesn’t interfere too much with our daily tasks. Sleeping under a warm blanket and wearing a sweater can be a joy.

Winter in Barcelona means: long walks in the woods and mountains, looking for chesnuts and mushrooms. In this period, on street corners men and women sell heated chesnuts for energy and to stay warm. They prepare the chesnuts on an open fire and sell them in little sacks made from newspapers.


Most children in Spain are not accostumed to entertain themselves inside their homes, since they almost always play outside. So as a parent we have to help them a little bit to find some entertainment, by playing boardgames together or do some cooking. A typical Catalan (though also in Aragon, Valencia and the Balearic Islands) tradition at the end of october, is to make “panellets” or All Saints Cookies. These sweets made mainly of almonds and sugar have their origin in the Arabic ocupation. They are very easy to make and very nice to eat, though be aware of the high amount of sugar it contains (50%).

Having this said, we made these panellets you can see in the picture. The recepy is very easy, so I will share it with you in case you would like to make some yourself.



  • 500 Gr Almond flour (mashed)
  • 500 Gr sugar
  • Skin of 1 lemon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250 Gr of mashed potatoes, preferably sweet potatoes
  • 150 Gr Almond pieces
  • 250Gr of Pinions

Boil the potatoes or heat them in the oven at 205ºC during 45 minutes till they are soft. Peel of the skin and mash the potatoes together with the almond flour and two egg-yellows untill it becomes a homogene mass. Add the skin of a lemon and the sugar. Let this mass rest in a refridgerator for 2 or 3 hours. Warm the oven on 180ºC while you form small balls and rectangles from the mass. You can make many different types of panellets.

Chocolate taste by adding some cocao
Coffee taste by adding some molded coffee
The classic ones with pinions: roll the small ball through lot’s of pinions, till it’s covered completely.
Almond panellet: roll the panellet through crumbs of almon.

Place them on an oven plate and paint them with egg-white, this will give them a beautifull dark color after baking. Place the panellets for 12-14 minutes in the oven, they are ready when they have a light brown color.

I hope you will enjoy this recepy, we did!

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