Traditional German marzipan potatoes, also known as German candy potatoes in English and Marzipankartoffeln in German, can be made easily in the home as a treat for guests who come calling and as an edible gift or favor at the end of the visit.
They are made from ground almonds and powdered sugar. (Pre-made purchased marzipan, not almond paste, also can be used.) Although there are recipes that call for raw egg whites, I am giving you a recipe without them, to avoid problems associated with raw eggs.
Marzipankartoffeln is traditionally given to friends in little bags or placed on the Adventsteller (plate of goodies set out at Christmastime). Here are more German Christmas treat recipes.
This recipe makes a small batch, about 2-3 dozen marzipan potatoes, that are less than 1 inch in diameter.
- 1 1/3 cups/125 grams ground almonds
- 1 1/8 cups/125 grams confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons rose water or orange blossom water (traditional flavorings) OR Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur
- A few drops of bitter almond aroma OR 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Advance Preparation: You can buy ground almonds as almond flour, also known as almond meal, but it can be quite pricey. You can also blanch 2 cups of raw almonds (if you want to keep the fiber in your candy, do not blanch the almonds), slip their skins off and grind them yourself in a food processor. Depending on your patience and the food processor, your product might be slightly coarser than the purchased almond meal. It doesn't stick together quite as well, but you can still make it work.
- If making your candy potatoes with purchased pre-made marzipan, using the traditional white marzipan (more expensive) doesn't matter as much because the candy will be dusted with cocoa powder anyway. A darker, less expensive pre-made marzipan also will work.
- Making the potatoes: Mix together ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, rose water or orange blossom water or Cointreau, and bitter almond aroma or vanilla in the food processor work bowl or by hand until well blended and sticky. Add additional liquids a little at a time until the dough clumps together. Remove from the food processor.
- Using 1 tablespoon or less of the marzipan, form small potato-like balls. Some people form perfectly smooth, round balls instead of potato shapes.
- Mix the cocoa powder and cinnamon together in a bowl. Roll the balls in the cocoa and cinnamon and set apart on parchment paper to dry.
Note: If you want the potatoes to be very traditional, use 1 pasteurized egg white with the above recipe, and reduce the amount of rosewater/liqueur.