Marzipan recipes have been around, and essentially unchanged for 1000 years – an ancient version is in Al-Baghdadi’s Kitab al-Tabikh or “Book of Dishes”.
Crush almonds, add sugar, egg whites – I also added a little cream of tartar (Potassium bitartrate – which forms in wine casks during fermentation) which increases the heat tolerance of egg whites and slows the crystal formation of the sugar.
Cook, cool, knead, color – but really, what to do with marzipan?
I tried it on some children — ages 3-6 — but nothing about it really held their attention. It doesn’t mold well enough to be entertaining as a toy, and it’s sweetness is, apparently, too cloying even for sugar starved children. Even after I added food coloring and started them off with a crocodile and a couple of cherries (are those cherries?), nothing. Impossibly, it seems that marzipan resonates as more dated — except for as pure decoration — than most of the stuff I cook here.