Saturday, December 20, 2008

Marzipan Almond Kipferl - The Crescent Cookies

Almond Marzipan Kipferl (02) by MeetaK

Just a few more days to Christmas! I really love this time of year. I just can't help it. The merry spirit absorbs me completely, sucking me into all it's glittery glory. The crisp cool air is radiating making my nose and cheeks tingle. I feel elated as I walk down the cobblestone streets, the shop windows decorated in sparkling tinsel and colorful baubles. It's all so cliché, I know but I just love it. 

I adore the old Santa ringing away on the golden bell wishing everyone "A HO! HO! Christmas!" I just cannot get enough of the perfumed bouquet that lingers in the air at this time of year. It's a gorgeous mix of gingerbread, spices and mulled wine. Foraging for gifts at the over-crowded stores makes me laugh - "Didn't know there were so many people in Weimar!"

I will sing along loud to Last Christmas by Wham! for the hundredth time while standing in a queue, never allowing those funny glances make me miss a beat. Often those funny glances turn into smiles as people begin tapping their feet to the tune. Between wrapping paper and ribbons, I search for ideas for Christmas dinner. Duck or turkey, mousse or parfait? And yes, I just love all that Christmas baking!

Almond Marzipan Kipferl (01) by MeetaK

Cookies, cakes, pralines and truffles - oh the glee for a foodie like me! I do not need an excuse to have the oven on almost 24/7 right now. Hec I spent the whole day making the Daring Bakers' challenge yesterday and felt totally exhilarated. I even find myself hotter with chocolate covered lips rather than fire engine red colored lipstick. And yes, Last Christmas is still buzzing from the radio!

All this week I am sharing my Christmas cookie craze with you. Besides, the ginger shortbread, I also make vanilla kipferls and these delicate marzipan and almond kipferls almost every year.

Marzipan has a sweet deliciously nutty taste. These cookies are made almost entirely of marzipan. There is no flour just the pure luxury of marzipan, coated in almond slices, baked gently to a perfect golden color and finally dipped in rich chocolate - how can anyone turn this down? That is why these make the perfect gift for friends and family. I double the recipe to have enough for everyone.

Keep in Mind!

MM spice cookies

  • Monthly Mingle theme this month World of Spice Cookies
  • Deadline January 5
  • Bake delicious cookies sweet or savory highlighted by a spice
  • One lucky winner will win the cookbook a Field Guide to Cookies
  • Come on over and join us. Details here.

 

Recipe: Marzipan Almond Kipferl Cookies

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

500g Marzipan paste
150g sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon zest of an organic lemon
10 drops bitter almond oil
100g blanched almonds, thinly sliced
200g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.

In a bowl mix together the marzipan paste, sugar, egg whites, lemon zest and the bitter almond oils to a smooth dough.

Set a bowl of water next to you. Place the almond slices on a plate. Dip your fingers into the water, tear some of the marzipan dough and form 6 cm rolls. Coat the marzipan rolls with the almond slices and then form crescent shaped cookies. Place on the cookie sheet. Continue in this way until you have used up all of the dough. You should get about 40 crescent cookies.

Bake the cookies for approx. 12-15 minutes or until golden. Take out and allow to cool on a rack.

In the meantime melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a water bath. Place your cookie rack over a sheet of baking paper. Dip both ends of each cookies into the chocolate and place on the rack. Allow the chocolate to set and dry.

Tip: You can make variations on this cookie by:

  • coating the kipferls in shredded coconut instead of the almond slices.
  • adding a hint of cardamom powder to the chocolate for a lovely flavor

Note:

  • Each oven works differently and while my oven bakes these cookies perfectly at 200 degrees C, I would advice you to keep an eye on the marzipan kipferls after about 8 minutes. If you notice them getting too dark reduce the heat to approx. 175 degrees C.
  • The consistency of the dough should be thick, pliable and easy to shape. If you are finding that your dough is a bit runny, add some more almond paste. The eggs I used to make the marzipan kipferls were medium sized, giving me the right amount of egg whites for the cookies. If your eggs are larger I would advice you to start with one egg white and then if required add the other a little at a time until you think the dough has reached the right consistency.
  • Stored in air-tight cookie containers these kipferls will last for 2 weeks.

 


Verdict

Almond Marzipan Kipferl (03) by MeetaK

Nutty, sweet, chewy and simply heavenly - if you like marzipan this is your cookie folks! They are so easy to make with big time flavor. As it is with all things delicious - one is never enough. Soeren loves taking a few in his lunch box and Tom nibbles them at the university while writing his dissertation. As for my friends they just can't wait till December comes around - because they know I'll be coming around to deliver batches of marzipan almond kipferls, singing Last Christmas.

Sending lots of hugs over to Anita of Dessert First for sending me my own personal autographed copy of Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable. I'm raring to try several of the cookie recipes!

I am not the only one enjoying the Christmas cookie baking month. There is a cookie craze taking over the blogesphere and you'll find several events focusing on cookies. Besides the Monthly Mingle - World of Spice Cookies, Susan is hosting the second edition of Eat Christmas Cookies and Sharmi is having her big Holiday Cookie Baking Event. I'm sending both these ladies a few of these marzipan almond kipferls to nibble on.

You might like these treats from WFLH:

ChocWalBrownie13 Lime Kisses 04 NougatOrangeTreats1
Rich Chocolate Mocca Brownie Bites Lime Kisses Orange Nougat Treats

From around the blogs:

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

 

Menu For Hope: 15-24 December 2008

MFHshort8
  • An annual fundraiser to help the UN World Food Program
  • Bid on prizes from December 15 - 24, 2008
  • One virtual raffle ticket is US$ 10
  • You can donate a prize
  • WFLH is also donating a prize
  • Details and information here

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

32 comments :

  1. Lovely Meeta,No words to describe this.They put us right into the holiday spirit.
    I have one doubt: I had also asked the same on the MM:spiced cookies post: Are community cookies-moravian cookies,related to lebkuchen and baked at Xmas -acceptable.They are traditional to those areas under Moravian church influence - Pennyslvania,North Carolina etc.Hope I am not troubling you

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  2. HMMM I adore marzipan . These look great . The addition of flaked almonds and chocolate makes them even more yummy. Great recipe :)

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  3. We are also gearing up for Christmas and the children are literally counting the sleeps. I love the crunch on these biscuits. I love the marzipan falvor!

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  4. Those cookies look so good! I like the crescent moon shape.

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  5. What delightful cookies are pictures! I love marzipan.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. So the DB challenge can be done. That's good news. I only get one chance on the 28th.
    Love these cookies Meeta, almond marzipan cookies, holiday perfect.

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  7. Meeta, Happy Holidays !! Pics look great

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  8. Gorgeous cookies!!


    **Meeta, I received my copy of your SENSATIONAL 2009 raw food calendar!!!!!! I ADORE IT!!! Thank you again :-)

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  9. wow meeta...i m still figuring which one of the snaps is the best u have taken.....gosh u r brilliant!!!!happy holidays....it sure must be fun at ur place with all that good food!

    regards,
    Veda

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  10. I'm singing 'Last Christmas' loud & clear with you...& my kids are giiving me wierd looks...LOL! These are indeed luxurious! Love them & am envious that you can get ready made marzipan. Have a great holiday seasoon...& am very envious of the cookie book! xoxoxo Deeba

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  11. These cookies look so elegant. A perfect gift, especially with the lovely gift box you have for them.

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  12. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. These truly are luxury pure and I am sure you will enjoy each bite.

    CL - yes Moravian cookies are just perfect and fit well into the MM thee. And do not be silly - you are not troubling me a bit.

    Tanna - yes it can!! just need a bit of organization and a whole day LOL!

    VG - seriously? I have not got my copy yet ( i order each year to see the quality) but i will take your word for it. this is cool!

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  13. Thanks Meeta,Am ready now to bake these.

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  14. Ohhhh no. I am doomed. I have loved these cookies for decades - I cannot resist them whenever I see them, but I have always limited myself to purchasing one of them, no more. Now I have the recipe. Curses!

    bad, bad baker.

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  15. Your positive Christmas spirit is infectious! These cookies look and sound delicious!

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  16. Meeta, these look perfect! I'm in Vancouver and although I'm not a big Christmas traditionalist, I have to admit that all the snow and winter wonderland stuff is really getting me in the mood this year! Have a happy New Year!

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  17. They are really fantastic cookies. I love the photo and also the moon shape cookies.

    Merry Christmas.

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  18. We enjoy marzipan and here in Goa, it is made with almonds as well as cashewnuts.
    Cookies that are all marzipan is heavenly.

    Best wishes for the festive season and a very Happy New Year, Meeta.

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  19. Marzipan is our family favorite. During holiday like my family expect me to make almost everything that include marzipan.
    This crescent cookies look really good.
    Have a wonderful season
    Elra

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  20. Delicious recipe, Meeta. Love how beautiful these look!

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  21. Love the way they look.

    I just sit and look at the screen & don't know whether to admire your pictures or your recipes.

    Happy Holidays to you!

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  22. So happy around this time of year. this sounds so good and totally new to me. The best part is, I have marzipan in the pantry :)

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  23. Thanks for the beautiful entry Meeta, pics rock!

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  24. I adore marzipan, so just had to try this recipe, especially with your stunning pictures. I have to say first - that they tasted divine!! The combination of the marzipan with the lemon zest, sent me floating. But alas, thats where my luck ended. The temperature conversion to 390F somehow was not right for my cookies and the first batch were close to burnt in 10 mins. So I took it down to around 350F for 10 mins and that was better. But they just spread out too much and were flat (did not keep the lovely crescent shape - sadly :-(). So, oh well, was my first try and practice only makes perfect. And I will be trying these again - the exquisite flavor is so worth it! Thanks Meeta!!

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  25. I had the same problem as Pryia some of the batch burnt after 10 minutes at 390F. Also my dough seemed very runny and my cookies spread out; nothing like your beautiful moon shaped crescents. Any suggestions I'd love to make them again.

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  26. Thank you so much for all your comments and glad to see that I have infected some with the X-Mas spirit.

    Priya, Dori - First thanks for trying these out. To tackle the issue about the kipferls getting too dark after 10 minutes: each oven works differently and depending how yours work it is advisable to keep an eye on them after 8-10 minutes. Turning the heat down to 175 C (345 F) like Priya did is a good thing to do if you realize your oven seems to be overdoing these cookies.
    With regards to the dough being too runny, I am presuming that is might have to do with the size of egg (amount of egg whites). The eggs I used were medium sized, which gave me the right consistency. If you find your dough too runny then I would suggest adding a bit more almond paste to balance it off.
    The dough should be thick, pliable and easy to shape.
    This recipe is one that I put together myself after a lot of trial and error. So I can only advice not to give up on these - either reduce the amount of egg whites to maybe 1 1/2 eggs - see how this works on the dough or add a bit more almond paste.

    I will update the recipe accordingly to add these points. Thanks for bringing them up and I am sorry they did not turn out as expected.

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  27. Meeta,

    I am looking forward to trying out these cookies. They seem similar to the delicious almond horns that are commonly available here in the US. I needed a quick clarification. Did you mean marzipan or almond paste?

    Thanks

    Bev

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  28. Hi Bev - I mean marzipan. In Germany I've never seen almond paste. Thanks for your comment!

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  29. Hi I'm looking forward to trying out this recipe. The Marzipan paste I have comes in a small tube and is hard as a rock! How should I soften it?
    Julie

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  30. Beautiful looking cookie pictures. I just made these tonight and what a disaster. I guess Almond paste and Marzipan are not the same at all. My cookies spread out flat and are way too sweet tasting. I may try this recipe again, but will probably look for a more reliable recipe.
    Thanks for the pretty pictures

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  31. Hi there Anonymous! Did you use almond paste or marzipan paste? It was not clear from your comment. Marzipan paste holds its shape quite well in these cookies. Sorry to hear that the recipe did not work out for you - if you did use almond paste that could be one of the reasons. Also there are many variables that play a role like different ovens etc. etc. I use this recipe every year for Christmas and it always works. It has worked for several other readers too. :o)

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta