(Pronounced (mahr zah pan)…
Our marzipan recipe is fun and an easy no-bake! You often see little characters or accessories made of marzipan in gingerbread houses. But it’s actually a traditional old European candy with an almond flavor.
And since it’s pliable like play dough or clay, it can be made into all sorts of fascinating things. Perfect for your senior and elderly activities.
Homemade or Ready-Made?
You can make marzipan from scratch for a food project. Or if you just want a craft-type project, get it ready-made at the store or online. You can even get it in colors, which is handy if you characters are just one or two colors.
I’ve seen marzipan for about $12 for a pound; also available in half a pound. Then it’s just a matter of rolling the marzipan paste into smooth balls, tubes, flat shapes, and attaching them together.
Attaching the Pieces
I often use icing in a tub or tube as “glue.” But you can also get awesome “edible glue” usually in craft or cake supply stores. Just apply it with a small, damp paint brush. Or try royal icing to attach pieces, which is very strong.
Another option – make your own homemade edible glue! Mix 2 Tablespoons of water, and 2 Teaspoons of meringue powder, whisking them together until thoroughly blended. Then paint it onto your marzipan pieces. Store leftovers in a containers with lid.
If you want to make your own, which is quite easy, use the simple marzipan recipe below. Then make your own batch and create creatures, flowers, fruit, just about anything that you can make out of play dough or clay!
You will need:
- Almond paste (8-ounce can, ready-made)
- Approx. ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 ½ to 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Food coloring paste; of liquid
- Electric mixer (optional)
Crumble the almond paste into a mixing bowl and knead it thoroughly. Add about half the corn syrup and half the confectioner’s sugar from the marzipan recipe, and knead in or mix in well.
Add the other half of each ingredient, and continue to knead or mix another 3 to 5 minutes until thoroughly mixed. It should be the consistency of play dough or clay, so you may need to add either a little more sugar or syrup to adjust the consistency.
Wrap the entire ball of dough in plastic wrap. Put it in an air tight container. Refrigerator it for at least two hours or even over night.
When you are ready to use it, you must let it stand at room temperature until it is soft. Then knead it for a few minutes before using.
Coloring the Dough
Paste — Break off several hunks. The best way to color the dough is with a food coloring paste, or gel, from a craft or cake supply store. It’s best to wear latex gloves, as you will be kneading it.
Break off small pieces of dough, add in a little color, and knead thoroughly until the color is distributed. Then do another small batch. It’s very fun!
Food Coloring — (NOTE: Liquid food coloring can sometimes make the marzipan sticky, so use only a little). Knead in 2 to 3 drops of food coloring, a different color for each portion. Keep the different chunks of colored dough separate.
Painting Marzipan — Make your characters with plain marzipan. Let it dry for a couple hours. Then pour a few drop of food coloring into small dishes, or a water color pan with small cups. Add a couple drops of water to thin out the colors. Then paint on your colors with a brush.
If the marzipan gets stiff or dry while you are using it, just knead in a little water or corn syrup, or microwave it for a few seconds. Marzipan dries easily, so keep whatever you are not working with wrapped in plastic.
What to Make
This marzipan recipe and creations are very easy craft ideas. Marzipan can be molded into fruit, characters, creatures… almost anything you can think of.
You can roll it out with a rolling pin as you would any dough, cutting shapes and pressing them together. Leaves and petals can be done in this way, as well as wings and tails for birds. A series of small circles pressed around a center forms a very nice flower.
Marzipan can also be molded into birds, frogs, cats and dogs (and any animals), people, gnomes, small boxes with lids, and tiny elfin houses. They’re perfect for making crafts with candy.
Marzipan recipe creations are often used with gingerbread houses and on the top of cakes and cupcakes. But you can also create an imaginative scene out of marzipan, with candy props, on top of an upside down plate or bowl, covered with a doily.
Try food-colored coconut for grass, gumdrop trees, pastel wafer paths. And a mirror for a pond. Marzipan vignettes not only make fascinating decorations, they’re edible! Don’t be surprised to find something has “disappeared.”
If you are an activities director, food activities are a hit. Extra may be needed for some, if using small pieces is part of your project.
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Our Craft Book
Easy Crafts and Gifts You Can Make, — Why hunt all over our web site. Beside lots of new ideas, we’ve also consolidated and organized some of our most popular crafts in this book – over 120 activities! Plus a booklet of FREE template patterns you can use for a variety of projects. Have a sneak peek…