Marzipan has its origins in ancient Arabic countries, including Persia (modern-day Iran). It was introduced to Europe by medieval Arabs and Persians who had mastered the art of confectionary. Made with simple ingredients such as almonds, sugar and rosewater, marzipan is so delicious that you just can’t stop reaching for it.
These marzipan delights resemble eggs, except that they’re round instead of oval. Children will become expert confectioners as they transform marzipan into candy eggs.
In the end, you’ll have to go hunting for Marzipan Easter Eggs , since the kids will surely hide them from you!
Active prep time: 30 minutes (for marzipan)
Inactive prep time: 30 minutes (for soaking almonds)
Makes: 50 to 55 Marzipan candies
1-2/3 cups raw, unsalted almonds (skin on)
1 quart boiling water
2-1/4 cups unbleached, granulated sugar (for marzipan)
3 tablespoons rosewater (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
50 to 55 candy paper cups
25 slivered almonds (for garnish)
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into slivers (for garnish)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil.
2. Set almonds in a 3 or 4-quart glass or porcelain bowl; pour boiling water over almonds to cover completely. Set almonds and water aside 10 to 15 minutes or until almonds slip out of their skins easily.
3. Drain almonds and discard water; pat dry the almonds with paper towels.
4. In a food processor, grind together the almonds, 1-1/4 cups sugar, the rosewater and 2 tablespoons water.
5. Process the mixture until it is smooth. To test: with slightly wet hands, grab 3/4 teaspoon marzipan mixture and roll it into a ball. If it is too dry, add 1 extra tablespoon water and process; set aside.
6. Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup sugar in a shallow bowl – you will use this to coat the marzipan balls.
7. With slightly wet hands, shape the marzipan into 3/4-inch balls.
8. Roll balls in sugar, coating them evenly. Shake off the excess sugar and place marzipan eggs in candy-size paper cups.
9. Set paper cup swith marzipan egg on a serving platter.
10. Garnish marzipan eggs with slivered almonds and slivered strawberries.
Note: Marzipan can be made up to two weeks ahead in the following manner: after rolling marzipan balls in sugar, place them in double freezer bags and freeze. When serving, thaw marzipan balls for 1 hour; garnish with slivered almond or slivered strawberry.
Text & Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real