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I make marzipan balls and dip them in chocolate--a wonderful combination!
The marzipan is made in two steps: first you make almond paste, and then
use it to make your marzipan. Rosewater is best purchased from an herb
store. I asked someone to bring me cherry brandy (Kirschwasser) from
Germany--I'm told by Germans that the American version tastes more of
almonds. But you could use other flavorings, like more rosewater,
vanilla, etc. This recipe also uses a lot of powdered sugar--I don't
think you can get around that!

Almond Paste

Blanch almonds by dipping in boiling water for 1 min., then pinching
skins off nuts. Allow to dry well on cookie sheets for several
days, stirring and turning the nuts occasionally. Do not dry in
oven! From now on, work with one pound batches. Put nuts through
a food processor for two to three minutes, or until finely ground
and oily. For each one pound batch of ground almonds use

1 lb ground almonds
2 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp rosewater

Mix sugar and cup of water in saucepan and cook to the end of the
soft ball stage, or 240 F. Add the ground almonds, 4 Tbsp water
and rosewater. Stir mixture well, and pour into a plastic food
storage bag to store. If lumpy, you can knead it in the bag when
it cools some. To store, drop plastic bag into 1 qt. Ziploc freezer
bag, and seal well. Stores in fridge for a month or so, or can
store in freezer indefinitely. It's best to make this a couple of
weeks before you need to use it. See following recipe for use.


batch of almond paste (made from recipe above)
about a pound of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Kirschwasser or other flavoring

Start with one bag of the almond paste. Get a good kneading surface
(I have a large pastry board), and spread lots of powdered sugar.
Begin kneading the almond paste on it, gradually working in the
powdered sugar. Add 2 Tbsp. Kirschwasser (German cherry brandy)
(or vanilla, rum flavoring, rose water, or lemon juice), one
tablespoon at a time, continuing to knead it in, and adding more
powdered sugar as needed. Knead until no longer sticky, feeling
a bit like bread dough that has been kneaded well. You will use
about a pound of powdered sugar per batch! Roll into balls about
the size of a nickel.

If you want to dip them in chocolate: Melt Baker's semi-sweet
chocolate squares, beginning with 5 squares, until smooth, either
in a double boiler, or in the microwave. Remove from heat, and
add three more squares, allowing to melt. This tempers the chocolate,
and brings it to a good dipping temperature. Repeat the process
when you run low, but don't let yourself run all the way to the
bottom of the bowl, as it causes streaks in the chocolate. I like
to keep my chocolate bowl sitting over hot water in the bottom of
the double boiler, to keep it from cooling too fast. Dip the balls,
and place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheets. Do not let them sit
with direct sun on the candies, or in a warm place like the top of
the fridge! When finished with a pan, allow to dry in the coolest
room in the house. When dry, place candies in paper petit-fours
cups, and store in a tightly closed tin, in a cool place (warmth
will separate the chocolate, turning it white--it's fine to eat,
but doesn't look so pretty!) Stores best in the freezer for long
term, or in the fridge for short term. I make one or two batches
each year to give and enjoy, and then have enough for us to enjoy
or share with guests through the year. Makes about 110 balls.

I like to have extra chocolate left over, and then use it up by
stirring in small marshmallows, and dropping them on the wax-paper
in small lumps. These are good!


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