A staple in Frankfurt’s Christmas market, Baked Marzipan Cookies (Bethmännchen) are traditional German Christmas cookies that you can easily make at home. Kids and adults would surely love them!
What is the history behind these marzipan cookies?
These marzipan cookies are called ‘Bethmännchen‘ in Germany.
They’re named after a prominent family in Frankfurt, the Bethmänns.
They said that the almonds on the top of each marzipan cookie stands for Bethmänns’ four sons. When one of them died, they adjusted the number of almonds on the cookies as well.
Why is the family so special? Well, they cemented their contribution to Germany’s culture when they financed Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s trip to Italy – a critical phase on the life of Germany’s most beloved literary figure.
No need to worry though, there is no need for you to travel to Frankfurt to try these authentic Bethmännchen.
You can simply prepare and enjoy these delicious baked marzipan desserts at home!
IF YOU WANT MORE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS TREATS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, THEN YOU WILL LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Marzipan – you can use packaged ones from the supermarket or make homemade marzipan as the base for making Bethmännchen.
- Almonds – blanched and chopped into halves.
- Egg – you only need the egg white for brushing these marzipan cookies.
Start preparing your baked marzipan cookies by preheating your oven to 225°C (400°F).
Use a rolling pin to flatten the marzipan and form it into a square of about 7-inch x 7-inch (photo 1).
Divide into equal portions. This recipe typically makes thirty-six portions (photo 2).
Roll each portion into a ball (photo 3).
To assemble each marzipan cookie, place three almond halves on top of the ball, equal space in between, with the pointed side facing the top (photo 4).
Place the Bethmännchen on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet (photo 5).
Brush each cookie with egg white (photo 6).
Place the baking tray in the lower part of the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the top of the cookies has turned golden.
Set aside and let your baked marzipan cookies cool.
Serve and enjoy!
- If you are using packaged marzipan, you need to make sure that it is not too wet.
The heat from the oven will make everything fall apart if you don’t have the right marzipan consistency.
- If you want to use my homemade marzipan, you should not add more than eight teaspoons of water.
More than that will be too soft for this baked marzipan cookies recipe.
- Cover the rest of the marzipan when you’re rolling them into balls. They tend to dry quickly when left uncovered.
- Place the baking tray on the lower part of the oven to avoid burning the top of the cookies.
I tried that myself – it did not work. It’s probably because of the difference in the texture of the paste.
Marzipan has a finer texture than almond paste, so it’s quite tricky to hold the shape together.
Yes, and you should skip the brushing of the egg white when you don’t intend to bake them.
However, if you are using marzipan with eggs in it, I don’t think it’s a good idea to skip baking them.
Bethmännchen is great for dessert, snacks, or when you just need something to perk you up.
I don’t think you have to serve them with anything, but if you must, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine would do the trick.
Are you convinced to give these Bethmännchen recipe a try? Let me know!
German Baked Marzipan Cookies Recipe (Bethmännchen)
- 2 & 1/2 cups marzipan (about 795 grams)
- 54 pieces almonds, blanched and halved blanched and halved
- 1 egg white, for brushing for brushing
- Preheat oven to 225°C (400°F).
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the marzipan into a square (about 7-inch x 7-inch).
- Cut the square into equal portions (about 36 portions).
- Take a piece and roll it into a ball.
- To assemble the cookie, place three almond halves on top of the marzipan ball, equal space in between, with the pointed side facing the top.
- Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet.
- Brush each marzipan cookie with egg white.
- Place the cookies in the lower part of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until their top turned golden.
- Set aside and let your freshly baked marzipan cookies cool.
- Cook’s Tip #1: If you use packaged marzipan, check that it is not too wet. The heat from the oven will make everything fall apart if you don’t have the right marzipan consistency.
- Cook’s Tip #2: If you are using my homemade marzipan, you should not add more than eight teaspoons of water. More than that will be too soft for this baked marzipan recipe.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Cover the rest of the marzipan when you’re rolling them into balls. They tend to dry quickly when left uncovered.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Place the baking tray on the lower part of the oven to avoid burning the top of the marzipan cookies.