Marzipan is a sweet doughy almond-based treat that is commonly moulded into decorative objects, like fruit, animals or people. Also known as an almond paste, marzipan is popular around the world, especially in Italy and England. During various holidays, such as Christmas, marzipan decorations are used to add a special touch to desserts. Marzipan can be eaten on its own as a candy or on top of a cake. When putting together a cake, create a scene on top using marzipan people. Making marzipan people is a fun and crafty activity.
Purchase marzipan moulds shaped like people at your local craft store or online. The moulds come in all variations from babies to adults. Each body part is given its own separate mould or one mould will be the shape of the person's front, and one mould will be the shape of the person's back.
Make the marzipan by combining 1 1/2 cups of finely ground almonds with 1 2/3 cups of icing sugar, 1/4 cup of egg whites and a half teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract. Chill the marzipan for at least an hour, so that the dough can be moulded easily. Marzipan can also be purchased premade from the supermarket and is found in the baking section.
Separate the marzipan equally into different bowls. The number of bowls is determined by the number of colours you want to use for your marzipan person.
Add several drops of food colouring to each bowl. Use a different colour for each bowl. Decide which colour you will use for each piece of the marzipan person.
Knead the marzipan to completely incorporate the food colouring. Add more drops of food colouring if you want the colour to look darker. Use gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained by the food colouring.
Roll a large chunk of marzipan into a ball and then press the marzipan into the mould. Use the different colours in the appropriate moulds for the clothes of the marzipan person.
Cut off any extra marzipan by running a sharp knife across the top. A knife works well for keeping the marzipan smooth.
Put the mould filled with marzipan into the refrigerator or freezer to harden for about 15 minutes.
Pop the pieces out using your thumbs and forefingers. Or, simply turn the mould upside down and the marzipan pieces should fall out easily.
Join together the front piece of the marzipan person and the back piece by gently pressing together. Using your finger, blend the two pieces together to form the marzipan person.
Use edible markers to draw in any details, like the face, on the marzipan person. Markers or pens can be purchased at any craft store. Or, use any excess marzipan to mould little round eyes, a nose and a mouth.
If you do not use the marzipan right away, store in the freezer in a plastic bag. If marzipan becomes too hard, add a small amount of corn syrup. If marzipan becomes too soft, add a small amount of icing sugar.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not use the marzipan right away, store in the freezer in a plastic bag.
- If marzipan becomes too hard, add a small amount of corn syrup.
- If marzipan becomes too soft, add a small amount of icing sugar.