almond horn cookies – smitten kitchen

Can you use marzipan for this? Marzipan is usually a bit sweeter and stiffer than almond paste because it’s intended for rolling out and molding candies. Usually you don’t want to use them interchangeably but I’ve seen so many horn recipes that start with marzipan since I started looking around, I don’t expect that it would be a problem and in fact might be easier to handle (the dough is quite soft with paste). Still, if you can find paste, use it first here.

Traditional Mandelhörnchen are quite large; these are smaller (about 3 to 4 inches across).

Luisa Weiss says in her recipe that she prefers to get chocolate in each bite and not just at the ends; to do so, she simply spreads the chocolate down the back of the cookie instead of dipping the ends. For this, you might find you need a little less chocolate (about 4 ounces) because you won’t need a volume that is dippable.

  • 7 ounces (198 grams) almond paste
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • Two pinches of sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup (130 grams) sliced almonds, blanched are more traditional
  • 6 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or in chips (about 1 cup)
  • Colored sprinkles (optional, but not really)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make cookie dough: Cut, tear or grate paste and place in bowl with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. (Mine was quite soft, so I just dropped it in in hand-torn chunks.) Add sugar and beat, covering lip of bowl with dishtowel to get bits from flying out, until almond paste cannot be broken up any further, approximately 3 to 5 minutes at a medium-high speed. Add egg white and salt and beat until uniform and creamy. Place sliced almonds in a wide-shallow bowl or plate. Have another bowl with water to get your hands wet.

Form cookies: Wet hands and scoop 1 tablespoon of dough (can use a measuring spoon, a little overfilled is fine) into your palms. It’s going to be very soft and you’re going to think something has gone very wrong; it it has not. Just keep your hands wet and roll it into a 4-ish inch log (I just stretched it across my hand, as you can see in the photo above) and drop it into the bowl of almonds. Wipe your hands dry on a towel (or the almonds stick to your hands, pulling them off the cookie) and roll log through it. Again, it’s quite soft and will seem weird at first but do you best and transfer the soft almond-covered log to the prepared tray and arc it into a horn shape. Press any loose almonds back on. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies: For 15 minutes, or until almonds on cookies are gently toasted and horns are puffed. Let cool completely.

To finish: Melt chocolate in a small bowl and dip ends of cookies into it, then return to parchment-lined tray to set. Add sprinkles (optional, but of course you want to).

Do ahead: Once chocolate is set, these keep in a tin for a week.

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