Pannelet Cookies With Sweet Potato and Coconut
- OGWLAdmin Starlett
- Complexity: very easy
Medrich's version of these golden orange yam and coconut cookies from Spain is delicate and flavorful.
Share this recipe
Step by Step Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk the yam, toasted coconut, sugar, egg whites, salt, and lemon zest together.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds to an uneven meal ranging in texture from very fine (mostly) to finely chopped. Stir the almonds into the batter. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days to allow the coconut to absorb moisture from the yams.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Scoop level tablespoons of the soft dough and roll into balls about 1 1/4 inches. Roll the balls in sugar (or, if using turbinado sugar roll only the top half of each ball in sugar to avoid over sweetening). Place 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined or greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until the cookies are slightly crusty on the surface (though still very tender and moist inside) and deep golden brown on the bottom. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks. Cool the cookies completely before storing. May be kept in an airtight container for up to 4 or 5 days.
Cardamom Pannelets: Omit the lemon zest. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, and 2 teaspoons orange flower water to the yam mixture.
Masala Pannelets: A little Spanish/Asian fusion cookie and very good. Omit the lemon zest. Add 2 teaspoons garam masala to the yam mixture. Roll in plain sugar or cinnamon sugar.
To bake the yam: Wash, prick, and cook a large yam on high in the microwave, turning it a couple of times until easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Or bake until tender in a 400°F oven, 45 to 60 minutes. To toast the coconut: Have a medium bowl ready near the stove. Spread the coconut in a wide heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until the coconut begins to color slightly. Turn the heat down (once hot, coconut burns quickly) and continue to stir until the coconut bits are mostly light golden brown flecked with some white. I often take the pan off the heat early and continue to stir, letting the residual heat of the pan finish toasting the coconut slowly and evenly. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. Immediately scrape the coconut into the bowl.