Sunday, October 10, 2010

For my mom

This evening, Zack and I sat down to a home cooked meal and he said "aaaah, food. You haven't cooked food all week." "That's not true!" I sniffed indignantly. "I cooked food on.......huh." Unless making Annie's mac and cheese and mixing in frozen peas count as cooking, I really haven't cooked in a week.

I made these last week for my Mom's birthday. My mom really loves marzipan (god knows why - I think it's kinda icky). Sometimes in the past, I've sent her a big box of See's Candy custom filled with marzipan. But this year, I figured I'd give it a shot. I've only had about 50/50 luck so far with candy things, but the recipe made it seem totally feasible (thank you Smitten Kitchen. You are the best).

Marzipan for Mom - adapted from Smitten Kitchen

8 ounces blanched almonds (I only had 6 oz, so I adjusted accordingly)
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (I used 1 1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon almond extract (I left this the same)
4 tablespoons corn syrup (ditto - gotta make sure it lasts as I ship it across the country)
Bittersweet chocolate - less than one bag of Ghiradelli chips will do it

Grind the almonds in a food processor for about two minutes: it will first become crumbly, and the crumbs will get successively smaller until it is more of a fine powder. Keep it going through this stage, and when it nearly forms clumps, that’s when you’ve got it right.

Mine actually formed clumps. Whatever. It'll be fine.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and almond extract, then the corn syrup, processing until well-combined. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead until it makes a smooth dough. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in a little more confectioners’ sugar. If it seems too dry, add more corn syrup. At this point, the dough can be tightly wrapped in foil (I rolled it into a log) and refrigerated until needed.

I did that (whoops, no pictures) and melted some chocolate in a double boiler. Then I rolled the marzipan into balls and dipped them in the chocolate (I used two spoons - that's a good method. You don't want to touch it with your fingers and leave weird chocolate fingerprints everywhere). Let them cool in the fridge and you've got candy!

Yay! I did it. It tasted pretty good (as far as I can tell - who knows with marzipan), but I guess we'll have to wait and see if my mom likes it. Hopefully she'll let us know in the comments.

Happy Birthday Mom!


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Anonymous said...

THIS IS THE BEST MARZIPAN EVER11!!!!!!!!!! Wow! I came home from a week away to a birthday package Dad saved for me in the fridge. I carefully opened it, suspecting cookies, which would have been, in and of themselves, wonderful, and what did I find? MARZIPAN! My favorite. I immediately popped one into my mouth, it's sweet taste melting on my tounge...what joy, what sweetness...matched only by my gratitude for having a daughter who went to great lengths to think up and subsequently create this very thoughtful gift for her mother's 57th birthday. Many thanks for your kindness and generosity. I love you dear...Mom