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Peruvian Dessert Recipes

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Ummm, Peruvian desserts! Do you remember the saying, "You can't have your cake and eat it, too"?

Well, we just don't agree with that statement, do you?

Pretty much everyone loves sweets and Peruvians are certainly no exception.

Postres (desserts) and dulces (sweets) are readily available in shops and on street corners in just about every town in Peru.

Peru has a long tradition of dessert recipes that began with the Spanish conquest of Peru. The Spaniards introduced sugar cane to Peru in the 1500s.

Soon, dessert recipes from Spain were brought in, mainly by the priests and nuns in the various monasteries and nunneries established at that time.

There were many spin-offs to the Spanish dessert recipes and new concoctions that were strictly Peruvian. 

Probably the most widely-known dessert recipes from Peru are arroz con leche, mazamorra morada, "suspiro de limeña" and picarones.

Below is a dessert recipe for Picarones, a favorite with Peruvians and us:

Peruvian Recipes - PicaronesPeruvian Recipes - Picarones

Peruvian Desserts - Picarones

Ingredients (6 servings):


1 lb sweet potato peeled
1 lb squash peeled
1 lb flour
3 tbsp yeast
2 sticks of cinnamon
4 cloves
2 tsp anise
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
oil as needed


1 lb chancaca or dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pieces of orange peel
A pinch of allspice
4 cups water


The Picarones:
In a pot boil enough water to cover the cinnamon, cloves and anise for about 10 minutes.
Then strain and use the water for boiling the squash and sweet potatoes. Once cooked, remove squash and sweet potatoes mash them, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water. Allow to cool.

Mix the remaining water with the yeast and sugar and let it sit for 15 minutes. Place the mashed sweet potato and pumpkin in a large bowl, adding salt, yeast mixture and eggs, beating by hand until everything is well blended. Add the flour until it forms a smooth, elastic dough that does not stick to your fingers. Place a damp cloth on top and let stand for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Heat plenty of oil in large skillet for deep frying the dough. Dip your hands into salt water and form the dough into rings with a hole in the center, slightly thinner than a donut. Drop the rings into the pan until brown, turning as needed.

Chop the
orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon. Add molasses sugar, pepper and water. Boil this mixture for about 20 minutes or until it thickens. Strain the syrup and serve over the picarones.

Peruvian Dessert Recipes - picarones"Me and my picarones" Suedehead

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