Perrunillas Recipe, a convent sweet from Extremadura
Perrunillas are one of those sweets that have accompanied us faithfully throughout our lives. Also called perronillas or perrunillos, these traditional sweets are present in almost all our geography; although they have their centre of diffusion in Extremadura. A dessert that many of us buy when visiting the traditional convents where the nuns prepare sweets such as mantecados, yemas de Santa Teresa, magdalenas or rosquillas, depending on the region.
In this case, the perrunillas are a very appreciated sweet that can resemble a bit the sponge cakes of Lerma, province of Burgos, and the mantecados. Its texture is unique, as they are sandy and crunchy but melt quickly in the mouth when eaten. As for all the ancestral recipes, the ingredients may vary, although they are based on some essential elements such as butter, ground almond and aniseed, which are essential elements of our cuisine.
Ingredients for the Perrunillas recipe:
800 g of flour
250 g of toasted and ground almonds
250 g of lard
1 dash of sweet aniseed
250 g sunflower oil
250 g of icing sugar
2 eggs (one for the dough and one for decoration)
Whole almonds for decoration
Sugar for decoration
How to make the Perrunillas:
The first thing you need to do is to lightly toast the almonds. This is an optional step but it certainly makes the almonds give off a much more intense aroma in the dough. To do this add the ground almonds to a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook without stopping stirring to prevent them from burning or getting too toasty for at least 5 minutes. Once they are toasted, remove them and leave them to cool.
In a large bowl, add 1 egg and beat it well, then add the icing sugar, the oil, the dash of aniseed and the slightly melted butter, without it getting too hot. Mix all the ingredients well.
Add the ground almond and the wheat flour to the previous mixture and stir first with a spoon and then with your hands. You must get a homogeneous dough for the perrunillas that does not stick to your hands. Once ready, let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough has settled, roll it out with the help of a rolling pin until it is at least 2 centimetres thick. The traditional perrunillas are generally thick. Place them on a tray with parchment paper and decorate them with an almond in the centre and a bit of granulated sugar on top.
When the perrunillas are decorated, bake them a little bit below the centre of the oven (which is usually the second height starting from the bottom); for 15-20 minutes at 180ºC.
Take the perrunillas out of the oven and they should be soft to the touch and slightly golden. Leave them to cool slightly on the tray and carefully place them on a rack. Once they are cool, they are ready to enjoy!