I am making 7 layer rainbow cookies and need a substitute for almond paste. Many I am making for are allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. Any suggestions?
It will change the flavor, but if your friends are not also allergic to seeds you could use a can of poppy seed filling in place of the almond paste
You should check with them, but almonds are not nuts. They are the seed of the flower from the trees. Do ask though.
According to the article you cite, Susan W., pretty much any botanical product commonly regarded as a nut really isn't. I would be very wary of using this information with regard to very real nut allergies. Here's some of what that article says: "Other “nuts” that aren’t include Brazil nuts, Cashews, Walnuts, Coconuts, Macadamia nuts, Peanuts, Tom Cruise, and Pistachios, among others. OK, so Tom Cruise is a nut, but in a totally non-botanical way." The article also says acorns and chestnuts are examples of "real" nuts according to the definition provided.
Which is why I said to check with her guests. I have Personal Chef clients who have nut allergies and tolerate almonds perfectly well. This is verified by their physicians. Yes..Tom Cruise is a nut.
Think of the almond paste not as nuts but as basically a layer of sweetness (it's a lot of sugar).
Like jilhil suggestion, these ideas will change the flavor, but may be pleasing:
* a jam or preserve (or a second one if you are already including one);
* if your people can tolerate chestnuts, creme de marron (sweetened chestnut purée).
Tahini might work if sesame seeds are ok. But the flavor would be different... you might want to up the sugar a little bit, and the vanilla extract?
How about a dense raspberry or cranberry preserve layer?
It will be difficult to replicate exactly the taste of almond paste, but texture-wise, chestnut paste comes really close, and I think it would add wonderful flavor to the cake. In which case I would then substitute almond extract with vanilla.