In Balkan homes, especially Bulgarian ones, homemade marzipan, which is softer and meltier than the store-bought variation, is an institution. The traditional way to make it involves blanching and peeling the almonds, but I’ve found that it works just as well with store-bought blanched almonds. Nevertheless, I refuse to skip grinding the almonds myself and using store-bought almond meal, as the oil that is released during the processing is crucial for the texture and the taste.
- 200 grams (about 1⅔ cups) blanched almonds
- 100 grams (⅞ cup) confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon rose water (not extract)
- Pulse the almonds in a food processor fitted with metal blade until they are ground into a powder, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the other ingredients and pulse for 2 more minutes until they form a ball with a Play-Doh-like texture. If it is still crumbly, add another tablespoon water and pulse again.
- Roll into 1-centimeter cylinders (just over ⅓-inch) wide and cut into 2-centimeter-long (about ⅔-inch) pieces. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 month.
- Reprinted with permission from My Balkan Kitchen by Shaily Lipa (Al Hashulchan, 2014) (in Hebrew). Recipe translated by Merav Levkowitz.