Königsberger Marzipan German Cookies
for Valentine's Day
Chill Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 18 cookies
For the Cookies:
- 3 cups finely ground blanched almonds or blanched almond flour
- Scant 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 egg white
For the Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1+1/2 tablespoons orange juice
For the Decoration:
- Candied cherries, cut in half
- Angelica, cut into small strips
- Make the cookies:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal (almond flour) and powdered sugar.
- In a small bowl whisk together the pure almond extract and orange juice.
- Pour the almond extract orange juice mixture over the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir in the liquid until the mixture becomes crumbly and everything is combined.
- Use your hands to knead the mixture together to blend it more thoroughly.
- Shape the dough into a large, flat rectangle. Wrap in plastic foil and chill for at least 4 hours. The dough will seem very crumbly but it will come together in the end.
- Once the dough has properly chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Divide dough in half.
- Roll it out to a thickness of 1/8" on a work surface heavily dusted with confectioners sugar.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut out two hearts using a 3+1/2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter.
- Cut the center out of one of the two hearts using a 2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter.
- Place the whole heart on a baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Top with the rim part of the second heart cookie. return the smaller heart to the dough mass to reuse.
- Working around the outside of the unbaked cookie, press the edges together with the prongs of a fork. Repeat this process until you have used up all of the cookie dough.
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes until lightly browned. Start checking them after 5 minutes as they finish rather quickly.
- Remove the heart cookies from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and brush with egg white while they are still warm.
- Note: If the centers of the cookies have puffed up, use the back of a teaspoon to gently push the dough down so the center of the cookies rest below the frame.
- Let cool completely.
Make the icing:
- In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth.
- You want a texture that is more on the thick side.
- If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more orange juice.
Assemble the cookies:
- Carefully pour the icing into the center of the heart cookies. Stay within the heart-shaped well. Use a small brush or spatula to evenly spread the icing out to the the edges.
- Place half a candied cherry in the center of the icing. Garnish with 2 or 3 of the Angelica strips.
- Note: Make sure you pre-cut the decorations. The icing will harden fast and you will crack it if you wait too long to place the candied fruit.
- Transfer the finished cookies to a platter and serve.