Saturday, 23 April 2011

Marzipan choc chip cookies

I've been thinking about marzipan a lot ever since Choclette announced it the theme for April in the We Should Cocoa event that she holds with Chele each month.  At first I thought it was my opportunity to make the Green and Black's Chocolate Stollen that has been on my to-do list for years.  Then I was honest with myself about what I could do and decided to make cookies instead.

I have also long desired to make my own marzipan.  That opportunity wasn't going to go by the wayside.  I had seen Suelle's Marzipan stuffed Chocolate Biscuits a while ago.  Then I stumbled across a vegan version in the recipe for Marzipan Filled Pillows from The complete guide to vegan substitutions (p 90) by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman.  I love their work but I didn't have potato starch to make the marzipan and the 240g chocolate for 8 cookies seemed a tad excessive.

I did remember Lucy's homemade marzipan that she made a few years back.  It had impressed me because it used so little sweetener and no eggs.  I didn't have the almond essence and I found I needed to use more rice malt syrup than her.  Nevertheless, when Sylvia tasted it, she was quite positive about it.

I was intent on making marzipan stuffed biscuits until I found a recipe for biscuits with choc chunks and marzipan chunks.  Then I realised that while fancy biscuits are fun, choc chip cookies are what we love in our house.  They are both easy and delicious.  I got out my favourite choc chip cookie cookbook and chose a recipe to adapt.  I substituted marzipan for walnuts and coconut.

How did they taste?  Let me put it this way.  These are the sort of cookies that are best when out of sight, out of mind, because, if you remember just how good they taste, you want another.  I can't claim that they taste very strongly of marzipan.  I don't have any almond essence, which may have made a difference.  The cookies are so buttery and full of chocolate that they can't fail to please.  Yet I think the marzipan adds great texture to the soft chewy centres. I would like to try them with almond essence but am afraid I would ruin this perfect combination.

Sylvia and I had a lovely time making these.  She did a great job of pouring and stirring but her biscuit-forming skills need some honing.  The cookies were delicious warm from the oven.  Sylvia wanted a taste but I didn't want to spoil her dinner - not that she ate any.  We are taking some of them down to Geelong tomorrow.  They seem a good offering for Easter Sunday.  Maybe Sylvia will get her taste there.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: Grumpy's Green - well fed with eco cred
This time three years ago: ANZAC Day and the Biscuit Police

Marzipan choc chip cookies
adapted from The search for the perfect choc chip cookie (p 40)
makes 3-4 dozen (I made 38)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or less)
Marzipan:
adapted from Nourish Me
  • 1 cup (100g) ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
First make the marzipan:  Mix ground almonds, rice malt syrup and almond extract (if using) in a small bowl.  Press together in a ball and knead briefly (I just squished it a bit in my hands).  Make into a long log, wrap in cling film and place in the freezer while you start on the cookies (I think mine was there about 30 minutes).

To make cookies: preheat oven to 200 C and line a large tray (or two medium ones) with baking paper or silicone mats.  Mix flour, bicarb soda, salt, and sugars in a medium to large bowl.

Take the marzipan out of the freezer and using a floured board, chop into small chunks.  I found mine was very sticky so I cut it into thin strips and sprinkled a bit of flour on these so they didn't clump together when I chopped them.  Add egg and melted butter to the flour mixture.  Then stir in the choc chips and marzipan chunks.

Take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and form into small disks on the prepared tray.  If you have lots of stray choc chips like I did, just press them into the disks.  NB I found mine didn't spread too much.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges.  Better a little underdone than overdone.  Rest on tray for about 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool.

On the Stereo:
Brood: My friend the chocolate cake

14 comments:

  1. These look delicious! I'm not keen on using almond extract - however little I use it always seems to add an artificial flavour - so I'm sure your subtle flavouring is better!

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  2. Never been a fan of "classic" marzipan, but I think I'd like yours and Lucy's. And I bet it did add a delicious texture to the cookies. Wish you'd included an "inside" shot of the cookies so we could see all the melty marzipan and chocolate goodness! But Sylvia's adorable little hand next to the mat of marzipan will have to do instead. :)

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  3. These sound like a great way to kick up an old classic and they look delicious. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweets-for-saturday-14_22.html

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  4. Harrumph! So you ignored my raw vegan marzipan, hmm? Hmm? :P Teehee, I'm sure that wouldn't have worked anyway! Oh, how I adore marzipan - love the sound of these cookies! And Happy Easter! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend :)

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  5. Marzipan CHUNKS...this seems ideal in every way! I love that rich almond flavor...definitely need to make these!

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  6. LOL - these sound like my kind of cookies Johanna - that is, so good that they are better out of mind, out of sight. They look fabulous - I can almost smell them. Hope you and your family had a Happy Easter.

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  7. Never in a million years would I attempt Marzipan Cookies. I am truly impressed Johanna. Sylvia is a better cookie maker than me and I think that is terrific!!!

    I'm still in Idaho with the grandkids this week and wait til you see what they coaxed me into "creating."

    Thanks for sharing...

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  8. they look delicious. I'm impressed you made your own marzipan. I've yet to attempt that. Hope you had a great Easter

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  9. Thanks Suelle - good to hear my instincts about the almond essence seem right

    Thanks Ricki - would have considered an inside shot if it looked amazing - but truly they looked like an ordinary choc chip cookie and yet tasted just fantastic even though it is hard to identify individual chunks of marzipan

    Thanks Lisa - will see if I have some time to look it over

    Thanks Hannah - oh how could I have missed an excellent opportunity to get all raw and wayfchoc :-) but seriously I think I remembered Lucy's because she baked with hers - hers actually is quite similar to yours

    Thanks Joanne - yes you do - the marzipan chunks take these cookies to another level of excellent

    Thanks Cakelaw - if you can bear the temptation (or have lots of hungry work colleagues as I suspect is more the case) then you should try them because they are really good

    Thanks Louise - Nice to hear you are having fun with the grandkids - am sure you can teach them a thing or two

    Thanks Katie - making the marzipan was much easier than I feared - apart from being so sticky and battling little hungry hands :-)

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  10. Oh between you and Choclette, I really want to give marizpan making a try now. Marzipan is the best and teamed up in a choc chip biscuit...oh YUM!

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  11. These sound like fantastic Easter treats. Love the idea of putting marzipan in the biscuits along with chocolate chunks. They look lovely and it's good to hear Sylvia enjoyed making them too. I only added 2-3 drops of almond essence to my marzipan which I found was just about right, slightly almondy but not artificial tasting.

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  12. I'll have to try making vegan chocolate chip and marzipan cookies. Such a good idea!

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  13. This is an idea I would never have thought of! And I like it. :-)

    I'm not a fan of almond essence and I'd be similarly hesitant about adding it to the mix.

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  14. What fun cookies! I've never seen cookies with marzipan before. And I think it's better that you didn't add the almond extract as I find it can be a bit too strong.

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