Today marks the second day of December and for today´s Advent Calendar post, I chose traditional German marzipan potatoes, also known as Marzipankartoffeln in German. Marzipan Potatoes are a confection, not actual potatoes.
Marzipan potatoes can be made easily in the home as a little Advent treat. Basically, they are made from fine marzipan and covered in a thin coat of cacao. If you do not want to go through the trouble of making your own marzipan, you can also use pre-made, purchased marzipan, but not almond paste. Around here, marzipan potatoes are traditionally given to friends in little bags or placed on the Adventsteller (plate of goodies set out on Christmas Eve on December 24).
Making these adoradable treats is a two-step process, first you make the marzipan itself, which is not difficult at all. You need but four ingredients, namely, raw almonds (or pre-ground almond meal), confectioners´ sugar, rose water (I always get mine at a local pharmacy), also known as Rosenwasser in German and a few drops of natural almond extrat (optional).
Ingredients for the Marzipan Potatoes
(this recipe makes a small batch, about 2 to 3 dozen marzipan potatoes, that are less than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter)
- 125 grams (1 1/3 cups) ground almonds
- 125 grams (1 1/8 cups) confectioners' sugar
- 3 tbsp rose water (use very high quality from a pharmacy or your favorite spice merchant)
- a few drops of natural almond extract (optional, go easy here)
- 4 tbsps Dutch process cocoa powder (really good quality one)
- 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- Advance Preparation: You can buy ground almonds as almond flour, also known as almond meal. Or you can also blanch 2 cups of raw almonds, slip their skins off and grind them in a food processor. Depending on your food processor, your resulting almond meal might be slightly coarser than the purchased almond meal.
- If making your marzipan potatoes with purchased pre-made marzipan, chose a high-quality one, the best you can afford (such as Odense or Lübecker)
- Making the potatoes: Mix together ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, rose water and natural almond extract in the food processor or by hand until well blended and sticky.
- Remove from food processor.
- Using 1 tbsp or less of the marzipan, form small potato-like balls. You can form perfectly smooth, round balls or go fort he potato shapes instead.
- Mix the cocoa powder and cinnamon together in a bowl or use a zip-lock bag to toss the little balls of marzipan in.
- Roll the balls in the cocoa and cinnamon and set apart on parchment paper to dry for a good 30 minutes. Store the Marzipan Potatoes in an airtight container with wax or parchment paper between the layers, in a cookie tin or wrap them in pretty cellophane bags or just munch away on them.
Try them, you might get addicted to these traditional German Christmas treats that are quick and easy to make and utterly irresistible!
If you are looking for more marzipan treats, do take a look at my Speculaas Muffins filled with Marzipan (here) or my Gevulde Speculaas (here) or you can make different marzipan fruits or vegetables and use them as decoration on my European-style Carrot Cake (here).
Please make sure to drop by again tomorrow when we will open our third special surprise in my virtual Advent Calendar!