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  • Writer's pictureBarth Bakery

Bethmännchen (German Marzipan Cookies)

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Firm and crisp on the outside, delightfully chewy on the inside, and packed with marzipan, these authentic almond-studded cookies are wonderfully delicious. As one of the most popular European cookies for the holiday season, these classic cookies date back to 1838 in Frankfurt, Germany. The three almonds on top of the cookies are to honor the three sons of the influential Bethmann family. These cookies are full of texture coming from the three different types of almonds: marzipan, ground almonds, and whole blanched almonds.

Almond-studded German Marzipan Cookies (Bethmännchen)
Crisp German Marzipan Cookies (Bethmännchen)
Chewy German Marzipan Cookies (Bethmännchen)

Makes 24 cookies


Marzipan Cookies

  • 14 oz marzipan

  • 1 cup ground almonds

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg, separated

  • ½ cup whole peeled blanched almonds, cut in half lengthwise

  • 1 Tbsp whole milk


Marzipan Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Crumble the marzipan into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar, all-purpose flour, and egg white (save the yolk for brushing).

  3. Beat on medium-low speed until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  4. Once chilled, roll heaped teaspoons of the dough into balls. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet, and then press 3 almonds, with the points facing up into each one so it forms a rounded pyramid shape. Refrigerate the shaped dough balls for another hour.

  5. Lightly beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush each cookie.

  6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Germany is famous for its Christmas cookies, many of which are very old and have been passed down over generations. These popular, traditional cookies can be found all over homes and iconic outdoor Christmas markets in November and December.

Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread Spice Cookies)

Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Star Cookies)

Linzer Plätzchen (Butter Cookies with Jam)

Zitronenherzen (German Lemon Heart Cookies)

Old German Honey Cookies (Alte Deutsche Honig Plätzchen)

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