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The next of my Spanish Recipes shows you how to make some very quick and simple Spanish almond biscuits that will be the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea or coffee or eaten on their own as a little tasty snack.

Almonds are an incredibly versatile ingredient that have been used in Spain for centuries. They are native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East and spread along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe during ancient times. Spain is currently the third largest producer of almonds in the world, behind Australia and USA. It was also the Spanish colonisers who first took almonds to the American continent after the discovery of the New World.

Spanish almonds are of outstanding quality because of their high oil content which makes them moister and more flavorsome. More than one hundred almond varieties grow in Spain but there are five main commercial types – Marcona, Largueta, Planeta, Valencias or Common Almond and Majorca.

About one third of the Spanish almond crop is used for making the very popular turrónes, marzipanes and other sweets mainly consumer at Christmas. Almonds protected by a hard white sugar coating and known as “Peladillas” are a traditional Spanish Christmas treat. Another specialty is “Garrapiñadas” which are basically almonds coated with caramelized sugar. Almonds are also used in some sauces, such as the Catalonian romesco and picada, and are an essential ingredient in “Gallina en pepitoria”, an old fashioned Spanish poultry recipe.

“Alajú”

Ingredients:

2 kg of bread crumbs
3 kg of honey
1 kg of almonds
A lemon or orange rind

Preparation:

Heat the honey to the point of caramelisation.
Add the breadcrumbs and the lemon or orange rind.
Then add the almonds and mix well until you achieve a smooth batter.
Put this batter between two round wafers and press until the biscuits are approximately the thickness of a finger.

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