Friday, December 21, 2012


If you have a really sweet-tooth, Christmas is a good time to taste the great variety of sweets we make in these holidays. The most popular ones are mazapanes, turrones and polvorones.

Spanish Christmas Sweets
Mazapán or marzipan is a Christmas sweet made of almonds, sugar and eggs.
Turrón or nougat candy can be made of different ingredients: the traditional ones are Turrón de Jijona and Turrón de Alicante, and they are made of almonds, sugar, eggs and honey. Other varieties also well known are made of coconut, fruits, toasted yolk…

Marzipans and most of the nougat candies are usually made of naturally gluten-free ingredients, but they can be affected by cross contamination. So, although hand ones from bakeries are very tasty, the best option to avoid gluten is to buy them in gluten-free specialized bakeries or to buy them manufactured in the supermarket in order to avoid cross contamination. You should read the label and avoid those containing trigo (wheat), trazas de gluten (gluten traces). In general, turrones with Indicación Geográfica Protegida Jijonaquality label are safe for coeliacs / celiacs. You can find them in every supermarket, for example, Mercadona.

Polvorones or mantecados are other kind of Christmas sweets. They are similar to cookies, but made of manteca de cerdo (pig lard). Their principal ingredient, apart from pig lard and almonds is flour, so we can only eat special gluten-free polvorones, usually made of rise and corn flour. Some brands of manufactured polvorones I know are E. Moreno, Adpan, Airos.

Some shops where you can buy hand mazapanes, turrones and polvorones are: Artediet in Madrid, Panadería José María García in Alicante, Confitería Marqués in Gijón.
You can find these products also in on-line shops: Zona Sin, Foody, Alervita (all of them also with shops in Madrid).

If you like cooking, I encourage you to make your own polvorones. This year for the first time I have made them myself and their flavor and texture is better than any I had tasted before. Here is the receip from Beatriz Gómez I took from the Facebook group 500.000 Recetas para celiacos:

- 150 g pig lard
- 100 g corn flour
- 200 g rice flour
- 100 g almonds flour
- 150 g icing sugar
- Gluten-free cocoa, cinnamon, coconut or lemon grated rind.

Mix corn, rice and almond flours and brown them 20 minutes at 160ºC in the oven, and stir from time to time. When it has got cold again, add the sugar and mix them. Then, add the pig lard and knead until you have brilliant, compact dough.
At that moment, you can divide the dough in pieces to add gluten-free cocoa, cinnamon, coconut or lemon grated rind to every piece. Give the shape of the cookies of 1 or 1,5 cm thick and put them in the oven over 12-15 minutes at 180ºC. And finally, sprinkle them the icing sugar.

Enjoy your sweet Christmas!


  1. mmm que rico todo!! como me gustan los dulces navideños
    felices fiestas
    un beso fuerte

    1. Felices fiestas para ti también, Merry Christmas! ;-)


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