Frankfurter Brenten

White marzipan cookies from the Frankfurt area of Germany.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond paste, NOT almond filling
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water or flower water *
  • 1 egg white

* Rosewater or orange flower water give an authentic European aroma and flavor. I like to substitute vanilla.

Knead all ingredients into a firm, smooth dough. Gather dough into a flatted round, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then let the dough rest for one hour.

Working on a dry work surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar, roll out the dough to a ½ inch thickness. Using a pastry brush, brush the desired cookie mold with confectioner’s sugar and press firmly into the dough. Cut and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat, brushing the cookie mold for every pressing. Dry cookies for 3-12 or up to 24 hours.

Bake at 275 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. The “peaks” on the cookies will turn slightly brown while the remainder stays cream colored. If you want to prevent browning, place an empty cookie sheet on the top shelf of the oven as you bake cookies on the center shelf.

These are very rich cookies, so they are often made small. Bitter chocolate, melted and brushed on the bottom of baked and cooled cookies, provides a wonderful flavor counterpoint.

I also tried making the dough in a food processor and found that it worked very well. I broke the almond paste into pieces and put it into the bowl of the food processor with the regular blade. I pulsed until the almond paste was in very small pieces. I then added the remaining ingredients and again pulsed until well mixed, then kneaded the dough until it was very smooth.