Marzipan Shortbread Marzipan Shortbread

Marzipan Shortbread | Food styling by Claire Stubbs | Prop styling by Renée Drexler/The Props Image by: Maya Visnyei

For a shift from standard royal icing, we've topped these cookies with marzipan, a mixture of sugar and almond paste, which is easy to roll out and adds rich flavour. For the traditionalists out there, see our tip below for how to make Holly Leaves with royal icing.

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Total time 1 hour & 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • red paste food colouring
  • 250 g marzipan
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey

Method

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, or in bowl using wooden spoon, beat together butter, icing sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy; stir in flour just until combined.

Between parchment paper or on lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. 

Arrange, 1 inch apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 375°F oven just until cookies are firm to the touch and edges and bottoms are light golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. 

While cookies are cooling, knead enough food colouring (if using) into marzipan to reach desired shade; roll out to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Using 1-inch tree or gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. 

Brush tops of cookies with honey; place 1 marzipan cutout in centre of each cookie, pressing lightly to adhere. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.)

CHANGE IT UP: Holly Leaves

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Using a holly leaf cookie cutter, cut out shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange, 1 inch apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheet. Bake in 375°F oven just until cookies are firm to the touch and edges and bottoms are light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, knead enough food colouring into marzipan to reach desired shade (if using); roll into small balls. Brush stem ends of leaves with honey; gently press in 3 marzipan balls over top of each cookie. Outline leaves with Royal Icing.

Makes 25 cookies.

Nutritional facts Per cookie: about

  • Sodium 22 mg
  • Sugars 9 g
  • Protein 2 g
  • Calories 103
  • Total fat 5 g
  • Potassium 34 mg
  • Cholesterol 12 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total carbohydrate 13 g

%RDI

  • Iron 3
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 4
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 1
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 2
  • Vitamin C 0.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Baking & Desserts

Marzipan Shortbread

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