Marzipan is a popular candy that originated in Europe, but is now eaten all over the world. It is often made into marzipan sweets, which can be shaped by hand and coloured to suit your personal tastes. Typically, marzipan sweets consist of small fruits, vegetables, and flowers. This recipe yields approximately one pound of marzipan. The shapes, sizes, and colours can be customised to create your own marzipan sweets.
Add one cup of water to a medium sized saucepan. Add three cups of granulated sugar to the water, and stir to dissolve as much as possible.
Place five cups of almonds in a food processor or blender and process until a fine powder is achieved. Add the almond powder to the sugar and water mixture, and stir to combine.
Turn the heat to low and cook the marzipan mixture, stirring constantly, until you achieve a thick dough-like consistency that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Turn the marzipan out onto a cookie sheet, and knead with your hands until the mixture feels smooth. Add one teaspoon of almond extract and knead into the marzipan dough, incorporating it evenly throughout.
Divide the marzipan into smaller pieces--how large or small is up to you. Shape the marzipan into various shapes and sizes, and/or add 1 or 2 drops of food colouring to each piece to colour, if desired. Serve your marzipan sweets immediately, or store in an airtight container.
Make sure the marzipan dough is still warm when you add the almond extract, or it will be very difficult to knead in and combine. Purchase pre-ground almonds at speciality food stores to make your marzipan sweets instead of grinding your own, if desired. For more pizazz, try adding shredded coconut, sprinkles, coloured sugars, melted chocolate, or fondant to your completed marzipan sweets. Simply roll them in the chosen topping after they've been shaped, and allow them to stand for a few hours to dry.