The holiday season is upon us which means spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts and treating oneself to delicious foods while enjoying beautiful lights and other Christmas decorations. Spain is well-known for its delightful Christmas treats. Every sweet tooth will be intrigued by the typical Spanish Christmas sweets. Maybe you even feel inspired to make and bake some treats at home. Otherwise, you will find these delicacies at most Christmas markets in Spain, bakeries, and other grocery shops.
If you happen to spend Christmas time in Spain or want to add a Spanish note to your Christmas festivities, you should definitely give some of these Spanish sugary delicacies a try. Check out the following mouth-watering sweets, and we guarantee you will want to go to Spain over Christmas.
In Spain, Christmas is not Christmas without Turron de Navidad. Turron is one of the oldest delicacies in Spain as it has been around for over 500 years. Allegedly Moors invented the traditional treat by mixing the main ingredients, honey and almonds, to create this fine delicacy. There are different varieties of this Spanish Christmas sweet. While the Alicante version’s consistency is hard, the Jijona version is soft. If you spend Christmas time in Spain, you must try this traditional Spanish treat.
2. Spanish Christmas Sweets: Pestiños
Pestinos are particularly common in Andalucia and loved at all religious celebrations throughout the year. The dough is made of wheat flour and aniseed or sesame seed. Afterwards, they are shaped into a square, fried in olive oil and coated in sugar or honey. Fall in love with these Spanish Christmas sweets during this Christmas time, by trying them in Andalucia or making them at home as they are rather easy to make.
3. Spanish Christmas Sweets: Mantecados
This Spanish Christmas sweet is certainly found in every Spanish household during the holiday season. These traditional crumbly goodies date back to the 16th century. Named after manteca meaning lard, mantecados are made of lard, wheat flour, sugar and egg white. Due to the later added lemon, cinnamon, chocolate or almond, a rich and delightful flavour is achieved. A flavour surely no Spaniard can resist during Christmas time. If you want to feel Spanish during Christmas, you need to try these sweet and popular delicacies from Spain.
Similar to Mantecados, Polvorones consist of almost the same main ingredients. However, Polvorones contain much more wheat flour and no egg whites, which make them even more crumbly. Furthermore, the excess of flour gives a dusty illusion which explains the name, as Polvoron derives from Polvo, the Spanish word for powder. The best of these dreamy almond shortbread cookies are found in Andalucia. Treat yourself to this Spanish goodness and let it melt in your mouth while enjoying the rich almond flavour.
5. Roscón de Reyes
On Three Kings day (January 6th), Spanish people enjoy the traditional Roscon de Reyes which translated means the twisted roll of kings. This ring-shaped cake contains wheat flour, eggs, and milk and is topped with fruits which are usually coated in caramel. Sometimes the cake is filled with different kinds of creams like chocolate or whipped cream. This cake dates back to the 4th century when Romans ruled Spain.
This Spanish Christmas sweet comes with a fun tradition when eating the Roscon de Reyes. Inside the cake is a small figurine as well as a broad bean: Whoever finds the figure is the Roscon’s king while the one who gets the broad bean has to buy another Roscon de Reyes.
6. Roscos de vino
These delicious Christmas sweets are particularly popular in Malaga. The cookies get their name from Moscatel which is a traditional sweet wine from Malaga. Besides the wine, the cookies contain wheat flour, cinnamon, almonds, sesame, clove, anise and lard. Usually, after dinner, these doughnut-shaped sweets will be served with a dry or sweet wine. Combining these Spanish Christmas treats with wine brings out the intense flavour of the sweets perfectly. Once you try these amazing cookies, they will become your favourite cookies during the Christmas season. If you are looking for traditional Roscos de Vino, visit Malaga and buy these delicacies at one of the Christmas markets in the centre of the city.
Are you looking for the best Christmas markets in Malaga? Check out this article about Christmas time in Malaga!
7. Spanish Christmas sweets: Marzipan
Allegedly, Marzipan has been invented by nuns in Toledo in 1212. The Beattle of las Navas de Toloso caused a severe famine during this time. Due to the lack of wheat at the time, the nuns used what they had stocked before the battle: almonds and sugar. With these ingredients they created Marzipan, saving hundreds of starving people. Ever since then, this delicious Spanish treat has become a popular Christmas delicacy.
In Madrid, you can spot amazing, artistic figures and shapes made of Marzipan displayed in store windows. These artworks are so impressive that you almost don’t want to eat them! However, eventually, you will not be able to resist these Spanish Christmas sweets.
Particularly popular in Andalucia are Alfajores. These Spanish Christmas sweets derive from the Ál-Andalus times when Arabs still ruled in parts of Spain. The name Alfajores derives from the Arabic word Al-hasú meaning stuffing.
Like many other Spanish Christmas recipes, these treats are also based on almonds. Furthermore, walnuts and honey are added and then the dough is formed into round shapes. Lastly, they are stuffed with honey dough. While these are the main ingredients, there are some differences in recipes. One of the most famous variations originates from Cadiz and is called the Alfajor de Medina Sidonia. In addition to honey, almonds and walnuts, this version also contains breadcrumbs, flour and spices.