Almond paste and marzipan are both confections made of ground almonds and sugar, with some recipes including egg whites as a stabilizer. Throughout the world, almond paste and marzipan are interchangeable, but here in the US, they’re different products for different purposes.
According to American Almond Products Co., almond paste contains equal parts ground almonds and sugar. It is commonly used in fillings for tarts, pastries, and cakes and can be used to make marzipan, which has a higher sugar to ground almond ratio. The higher quantity of sugar in marzipan makes it more pliable and suitable for molding, which explains why cake decorators use it to fashion tiny fruits, vegetables, animals, and all manner of objects.
I had six ounces of almond paste left over from my Christmas baking and had to scour the internet to find a recipe that called for this amount, fortunately finding the simple cookie below. The end result is a buttery, almondy, sugar-type cookie that would welcome a drizzle of melted chocolate.
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 6 ounces almond paste
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line several baking sheets with foil or parchment.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, almond paste, and sugar until very fluffy.
Add egg and beat until combined.
Add baking soda and flour, beating until combined.
Using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place two inches apart on baking sheets.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, until tops are just golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.