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Marzipan Squares Recipe

With rum-soaked cranberries in sweet homemade marzipan, these chewy bars are perfect for the holidays. Dust the cooled squares with confectioners’ sugar for a pretty presentation.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 45 min. + cooling YIELD:48 servings

Ingredients

  • MARZIPAN:
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon egg white
  • BATTER:
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum or brandy
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • 1. For marzipan, place almonds and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Add the extract, corn syrup and remaining confectioners' sugar; cover and process for 1 minute. Add egg white; process until mixture forms a ball. Remove and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a microwave, heat rum on high until it begins to boil, about 30 seconds. Stir in cranberries; set aside.
  • 3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture just until combined. Chop marzipan into 1/4-in. pieces; add marzipan, rum mixture and almonds to creamed mixture.
  • 4. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 4 dozen.