Valentine Cookie Knockouts: Using Marzipan
When travel is a possibility again, and should you find yourself going to Austria, prepare for requests from friends and family asking you to bring back chocolate.
Those in the know will ask for little round balls of pistachio marzipan dipped in light and dark pralines, covered in dark chocolate. Each is wrapped in foil that’s stamped with a portrait of the musical master himself: Mozart.
Mozartkulgen is a traditional favorite and a popular souvenir of the city of Salzburg. After touring the Sound of Music sites, the cathedrals, the fortress, the marionette theater, and Mozart’s birthplace, no one wants to miss picking up a box or two of Salzburg’s famous delicacies.
Marzipan for Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve been thinking about marzipan–which is a sugared almond paste. Godiva, apparently, sells chocolate-covered marzipan hearts for the holiday, but going by the public outcry online, the coveted creations are hard to come by.
Frosted heart-shaped cookies make an excellent gift, especially when they’re handmade and beautifully decorated. Although fondant allows you to be more intricate with your creations, it doesn’t add anything to the deliciousness of your baked goods. A simple powdered sugar and butter frosting tastes much better on top of the perfect crisp sprinkle cookie.
Now I’ve used marzipan twisted into braided bread and as an ingredient in cake, but I’ve never considered putting it into a cookie recipe before. But it makes sense. Marzipan is an excellent replacement for fondant because it has a lovely flavor .
This year, make your favorite sprinkle cookie recipe, but substitute the vanilla with almond extract. This will mirror the taste of the almond paste in the cookie. Also keep in mind that people often flavor marzipan. Orange is a particular favorite.
You can purchase red or pink marzipan, or make your own recipe like this at Partylicious. You’ll need to use a gel food coloring, like you would if you were using fondant. Once you have the mixture rolled out, use a smaller (than you used for the cookie base) heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the marzipan hearts. Carefully place them on the cookies before the frosting dries out.
If you’d like the traditional chocolate/marzipan combination, use chocolate frosting. Pink or red on top of chocolate frosting with some sprinkles around the edges would make a lovely presentation.
Tips For Making Marzipan from Partylicious:
- If you mix it too long and it starts to get oily and shiny, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let it cool for 15-30 minutes. It should start to reabsorb some of the oils. Add more powdered sugar while rolling out the marzipan until it is a consistency you feel comfortable working with.
- You can color marzipan with gel food coloring the same as you would fondant.
- When rolling it out, use a slip mat or parchment paper lightly covered in powdered sugar. This helps the marzipan to not stick.
- Keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap when not using. The marzipan will dry out if uncovered too long.
- Keep stored in the refrigerator when not using.
- You want to use this very soon after you make it. It will keep in the fridge 1-2 days.
After some searching, I was able to find another site that also came up with the idea of topping sprinkle cookies with marzipan. This recipe comes from Canada.They don’t frost the cookies first. Instead, they brush honey on the cookies to attach a marzipan layer and then decorate the marzipan with sprinkles, gold leaf, and non pareils. Check out the recipe at Canadian Living for more inspiration.
Happy Valentine’s Day!