Almonds and sugar, as easy as A, B, C or 1, 2, 3–so easy and still so special; it is just unbelievable how two simple ingredients such as these work perfectly together to create marzipan.
Notwithstanding, baking marzipan is not as easy as it may seem, it entails some level of complexity. Just mix the sugar and the almonds, grind gently until you get dough and let it settle for a while. Next, you will have to give the shape you wish–usually, they are given figure shapes, paint them with egg white and bake them in the oven at 180º for a few minutes. The outcome is delicious.
This traditional Christmas dessert has even originated a Regulating Council, the Marzipan of Toledo. The first written reference of this product traces back to 1577, from this specific Spanish city.
In all likelihood, it is from Arab origin; since they make a very similar sweet they call “mautha-ban” with a caliph-shaped figure. There are other theories surrounding that place its origin in other places and time periods, though. However, if we take into account that the sugar did not arrive to Europe until the 16th century, the authentic marzipan could have not been made until then.
We would also like to point out that there are other sweet variants that use the marzipan as the basis, namely the Huesos de Santo, Bread from Cadiz or the Catalan Panellets.