Rosquillas de Alcalá recipe, a sweet from the city of Cervantes

Rosquillas de Alcalá are one of the most outstanding sweets in the cuisine of Alcalá de Henares. Rosquillas are a speciality of Madrid, with two types: ‘tontas’ and ‘listas. The former are made with a simple dough which is then baked, hence their name due to the simplicity of their preparation; but the “listas” have a coating or syrup, as is the case with those of Alcalá.

It is said that these rosquillas originated in Rome, later spreading throughout the Mediterranean and becoming part of certain traditions in certain parts of the Iberian Peninsula, as was the case in Madrid. Rosquillas de Alcalá began to be made in this city in the 16th century and, since then, their preparation has barely changed. Here is how to make them.

rosquillas de Alcalá

Rosquillas de Alcalá. | Shutterstock

Ingredients for the Rosquillas de Alcalá:

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry

For the egg yolk glaze:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80 ml of water
  • 250 g of sugar

For the sugar glaze:

  • 35 ml of water
  • 200 g of icing sugar

How to make the Rosquillas de Alcalá:

  1. Roll out the puff pastry sheets and place one on top of the other. Cut in half and lay them on top of each other again. Following these steps, there should be a total of 4 layers. Roll over them with a rolling pin, but do not press too hard, so that they come together lightly.
  2. Once the puff pastry is ready, make the rosquillas with the help of a circular pastry cutter and with a smaller mould remove the centre to make the holes. Place each one on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, leaving some space between them. Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the egg yolk cream or glaze. Boil the 80 ml of water and 250 g of sugar in a saucepan for about 4 minutes until the syrup is thick. Leave to cool. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in the bowl where they were reserved and add the syrup little by little, stirring constantly. When it is well mixed, put this bowl in a bain-marie to heat it for 3 minutes; stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling. Then remove and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Ideally, the rosquillas should be out of the oven while you let the egg yolk glaze cool for 5 minutes. Then, you have to dip the rosquillas de Alcalá halfway into it and leave them to drain on a rack for one or two hours.
  5. The last step is the sugar glaze. Put the 35 ml of warm water in a bowl and add teaspoons of icing sugar until you get the right consistency. When the egg yolk glaze has dried, dip the rosquillas halfway into the sugar glaze and allow them to drain as before. Once the glaze has solidified well, you can enjoy your rosquillas de Alcalá.

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