My grandfather used to make marzipan when I was a I kid. After I got married, I decided we should have marzipan as part of our holiday baking ritual. There was no family recipe that I could get my hands on, so trial and error led to this.
Blanched almonds are the kind with the skin removed. Sometimes these are sold as slivers, other times as whole nuts. You could make it with whole almonds, but it would not be as pretty nor would it hold together quite as well.
Grind the almonds into a powder. This can be done in a blender if you are patient with it, but it is probably a job for a food processor or grinder. Some grocery stores sell nut meal; this might save you the trouble of grinding.
Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl. In 2 tsp portions, shape into little balls or loaves. The pieces should be about the size of the morsels that come in chocolate sampler boxes.
Cut designs into the back with a fork, chopstick, or other implement. This can be as simple or as fancy as you like.
Lay the pieces out on a waxpaper-lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 200° oven for 30 minutes or until done. The goal is to dry out the outside and make it somewhat firm to the touch. One of the advantages of this dough is that it doesn't have egg in it, so you can snack as you go. If you want them to brown, you will need an egg wash and you are on your own with that.
We have done it without almond extract: Substitute equal parts rose water and liqueur.
You can substitute another liqueur for the amaretto if you like. We did it once with Frangelico, and it was good.
This was invented for a friend who is allergic to almonds. Prepare as for marzipan (above).
©2005 by P.D. Magnus