German Christmas Candy (Marzipankartoffeln)

Traditional German Christmas candy recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 24-36 potatoes (24-36 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
87 Calories
5g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24-36 potatoes (24-36 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 87
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 2g
Calcium 27mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Traditional German marzipan potatoes, also known as German candy potatoes in English and marzipankartoffeln in German, can be made easily in the home as a treat for guests who come calling and as an edible gift or favor at the end of the visit.

They are prepared with ground almonds and confectioners' sugar. (Pre-made purchased marzipan, not almond paste, also can be used.) Although there are recipes that call for raw egg whites, this recipe doesn't use them to avoid the problems associated with raw eggs.

Marzipankartoffeln is traditionally given to friends in little bags or placed on the Adventsteller (plate of goodies set out at Christmastime).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups/125 g almonds (grounded)
  • 1 1/8 cups/125 g confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rose water (or orange blossom water, or Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur)
  • 3 drops bitter almond aroma (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for German Christmas candy
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Mix together the ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, rose water, and bitter almond aroma in the food processor work bowl or by hand until well blended and sticky.

    Blend almonds
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add additional liquids, if necessary, a little at a time until the dough clumps together. Remove from​ the food processor.

    Dough in bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Using 1 tablespoon or less of the marzipan, form small potato-like balls. Some people form perfectly smooth, round balls instead of potato shapes.

    Form balls
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Roll the balls in the cocoa and cinnamon and set apart on parchment paper to dry. Once completely dry, store in a covered container for longer shelf life.

    Roll balls
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • You can buy ground almonds as almond flour, also known as almond meal, but it can be quite pricey. You also can blanch 2 cups of raw almonds (if you want to keep the fiber in your candy, do not blanch the almonds), slip their skins off, and grind them yourself in a food processor. Depending on your patience and the food processor, your product might be slightly coarser than the purchased almond meal. It doesn't stick together quite as well, but you can still make it work.
  • If making your candy potatoes with purchased pre-made marzipan, using the traditional white marzipan (more expensive) doesn't matter as much because the candy will be dusted with cocoa powder anyway. A darker, less expensive pre-made marzipan also will work.

Recipe Variation

  • If you want the potatoes to be very traditional, use 1 pasteurized egg white with the above recipe, and reduce the amount of rosewater/liqueur.

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