Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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marzipan is a firm paste of finely ground nuts, almost always almonds, and sugar, sometimes bound with either whole eggs or egg whites. It may be scented with rosewater or orange flower water, but the main flavor and aroma come from the nuts. As a result of its fine flavor and versatile texture, marzipan has many uses in confectionery, baking, and dessert making, working equally well in baked and unbaked goods. It can be modeled or molded into shapes, used as a covering for celebratory cakes, rolled thinly as a layer in pastries, or baked into biscuits and petits fours. It has been a prime component in fancy baking and decorative sugar craft over many centuries, and remains an important celebratory confection, particularly for a wide range of festival and holiday sweetmeats. See holiday sweets.