Monday, May 11, 2009

Chocolate-Pistachio Marzipan Spirals

For our second bake-off using one of Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbooks, we chose to do something from her "Rose's Christmas Cookies" cookbook. The rules offered a lot of latitude. We could choose either a bar or a filled cookie. It didn't dawn on me until after I tasted these that they weren't technically a cookie but more of a candy. (the fact that I didn't have to turn on my oven should have clued me in on this)

The most time consuming step was shelling the pistachios and the most difficult step was getting the skins off of the pistachios. However, none of these task were daunting or impossible. Baking the pistachios for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven help in removing the skins.

To make the marzipan, I processed the pistachio nuts, powdered sugar, corn syrup and glycerin in a food processor until in formed a dough, then I kneaded it for 3 minutes.
If you’ll notice, my marzipan is VERY green. The recipe said to use just a dab of green paste. I stuck my toothpick half-way into the paste and used whatever food coloring clung to it. I almost added more coloring because the green doesn’t come through until you start kneading it. Thank goodness I didn’t add more!
I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the marzipan rolled out. My sister called me while I was doing this step and I forgot to take pictures. I rolled the marzipan between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/16th of an inch then spread chocolate ganache on it. I placed the ganache covered marzipan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for the ganache to firm up then rolled it up like a jelly roll, painted it with egg white then rolled it in chopped nuts.

At first bite, the brute force of the chocolate is dominant overall but then as the marzipan melts on your tongue the chocolate mellows and there is a subtle pistachio finish. Very interesting indeed.

This would be a great dessert to make in the summer time because you do not have to turn your oven on. But the best thing about the Chocolate-Pistaschio Marzipan Spiral is you can make them several weeks or months in advance. They store very well in the refrigerator or freezer. I plan on serving them on May 22nd at a get together at our house. I love foods that you can make ahead of time. It reduces the stress of entertaining!
You'll have to be a member (free) of Rose's forum to read what the others made. Join then click here.


  1. Gasp - they look utterly amazing Tammy.

  2. Hey, there you go in my kitchen again :)... didn't even leave a pistachio Marzipan spiral :(... thanks for cleaning up so well after yourself... I can't even tell you were here :).

  3. If I was in your kitchen, I'd never leave! I'd be your sous chef anyday. :-) Thanks for the wonderful support and compliments.

  4. Lovely marzipan spirals and write-up, Tammy! I enjoyed the Bake-off, too, see you next month.

  5. Sounds great, I love marzipan and chocolate so I would be in heaven with these!

  6. You included so many of my favorite ingredients... I can't stop drooling over here :)

  7. Hi Tammy :)... so nice to hear from you. Let me know how you like the strawberry muffins. Oh what lucky guests you're going to have on your hands this weekend... I hope you have a great time!

    PS - speaking of this weekend, my sister is getting married and I'll be making a petite 3-tiered wedding cake, so stay tuned for a post about it soon!

  8. Hello Tammy, it's Melinda. I came over to see your lovely blog since you invited me. I don't think I can do it justice with just a glance so will come back and have fun reading all your back posts. I certainly like what i have read so far. You are my kinda gal!
    It is wonderful to meet a fellow blogger and admirer of RLB. I have been her fan for quite a long time and love making her cakes breads and cookies.
    I haven't made this recipe yet but it sounds good to me. It looks quite beautiful from the pictures you show. I am sure it will be a hit at your dinner party. I, too, like things you can do ahead of time. I am usually quite the airhead on the day and nervous about everything. Very silly.
    Thank you for your kind comments about my Pumpkin Patch post. She was such a nice lady and has left quite an imprint on my heart... and I had never met her. I have been so lucky to have connected with some incredible people through blogging. I would never have guessed it but am so glad of it.
    That is all for now. But I will be back to enjoy your other posts. Cheers.

  9. Thanks Julie! I enjoy our bake-off also. I'm ready for the next one already!

    Thanks Peasepudding and Stephchows. I think you would love these.

    Melinda! How lovely of you to jump the pond to come visit me! Thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful blog. I love your heart.