The cloistered nuns of Barcelona are seldom seen in public. Almost as secretive are the cookies they bake from their convent across the city and surrounding areas, following recipes that date back centuries.
Little is known about the precise origins of these so-called “cloistered cookies,” made using eggs, brown sugar, and star anise but Spanish nuns are thought to have developed their baking prowess in the 11th century when famine hit the hilltop municipality of Toledo in the heart of the country. With no wheat in their storerooms to bake with, the nuns of the local Convent San Clemente cobbled together the only ingredients they did have—sugar and almonds—to create a mixture we now know as marzipan.
Read on with Munchies.