On the third day of Christmas, my kitchen gives to you…homemade marzipan! More specifically, homemade marzipan tinted with Christmas colors and molded into adorable Christmas-themed shapes.
Did you know that in Italy, marzipan served over Christmas is painted with fruit coloring and shaped to look like miniature fruit? That’s actually how I remember eating marzipan as a kid — someone would usually gift us with a box of the stuff during the holidays, and I always thought they were too cute to eat. I considered making banana and peach-shaped marzipan this year, but I didn’t want to spend hours tinting candy to just the right colors to look like fruit. Besides, how cute is that little Santa? Even if I were a marzipan fiend, I probably wouldn’t have the heart to eat him. You can’t eat Father Christmas on his own holiday!
In case you’re wondering though, these adorable little treats are 100% edible, and actually quite tasty. While I generally only like almonds that are roasted or chocolate-covered, I can definitely get behind ground almonds mixed with sugar syrup and a crap load of powdered sugar. I have a feeling these would be a hit with kids, both in appearance and taste.
– 250 grams raw, peeled almonds
– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 2 cups powdered sugar, plus more for kneading
– 1 tsp Almond extract
– Red and green gel food coloring (You can use regular food coloring, but that’s messier and doesn’t sink into the marzipan as well)
(1) In a double boiler (or large bowl set over a pot of boiling water), whisk together egg whites and white sugar until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and set aside.
(2) In a food processor, grind almonds until they’re as fine as you can get them.
(3) Slowly add about 1/2 the sugar syrup mixture, and pulse until everything is incorporated.
(4) Add powdered sugar and pulse. A ball should form in your dough.
(5) Turn dough over onto a flat surface dusted with powdered sugar. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and knead. Keep adding powdered sugar as kneaded until your marzipan is smooth and pliable.
** You’ll end up using way more than you think…my marzipan stayed stubbornly sticky for a long time and I ended up using probably close to 4 cups of powdered sugar.
(6) Break marzipan into many pieces and color them individually with food coloring. Shape as desired.