Marzipan has always been my favorite sweet. Adding saffron for flavor and a stunning natural orange or yellow color has taken it to a new level. The marzipan can be shaped into roses, mini pumpkins for Halloween, or for Christmas cut with cookie cutters and sprinkled with finely chopped pistachios or dried cranberries. For a deep Halloween-orange, add a little more saffron than specified in the recipe. But keep in mind that real saffron (and that's what you need for this recipe) is quite potent and a little goes a long way. —Nadia Hassani
saffron threads, more depending on the desired color
hot water, more as needed
shelled and skinned whole almonds
In This Recipe
In a small bowl mix the saffron and water and set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Add the almonds to the food processor and process to a fine meal. Frequently scrape down the sides and over the bottom of the food processor bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and process until evenly incorporated.
Strain the saffron and discard the threads. With the food processor running, add the saffron water and process until the marzipan absorbs the color. Stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape down the sides and over the bottom to ensure even coloring. If the mixture seems dry and grainy, add more water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
Transfer the marzipan to a cutting board or a clean work surface and briefly knead it to compact it and distribute any spots of uneven coloring.
Shape the marzipan into a log or a block and tightly wrap it in wax paper. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and let it sit for at least 8 hours before using, which makes it easier to shape.