Mazapán de cacahuate, peanut marzipan, is a typical sweet emblematic of Mexican culture. Like many other traditional dishes from Mexican cuisine, it has a Spanish influence. In Spain the marzipan is a confection that is made from raw, peeled, ground almonds and sugar, and it is usually consumed in the Christmas season. In Mexico you can find peanut marzipan throughout the year and at any store. Today we celebrate the Independence of Mexico. Mexican tradition during this days is to prepared traditional food to share with family and friends. I think the most consumed dishes include pozole and chiles en nogada. Like other years, I did not want to leave the sweet dishes behind and decided to prepare mazapanes de cacahuate. It’s a confection that has passed from generation to generation and everyone loves it. It is so common and easy to find anywhere, that I had never thought about how it is prepared. After a little research I realized that is super simple to make at home, you only need 2 ingredients: roasted unsalted peanuts and confectioner’s sugar. It is also important to have a good food processor. After reading the ingredients list of a commercial marzipan, I realized that they include artificial flavors. So it was time to make some homemade natural mazapanes. The hardest thing for me was to peel the peanuts, it took me around an hour and a half. After you put the ingredients in the food processor and wait a few minutes, a compact paste will start to form. Then you use a round cookie cutter to give them their traditional circular shape. I took some pictures of the step by step so you can see the entire process. Although the traditional shape of peanut marzipans is a circle, I wanted to use different shapes to make them more original. I used circular, square and clover-shaped cutters. After cutting them, I wrapped them in tissue paper of different colors, twisting the ends. Generally, craft marzipans, are wrapped in this type of paper, leaving the ends free. To me it seems a mixture of a Mexican blanket and a piñata. It is a very delicate sweet, it crumbles in each bite and sometimes you have to pick up the crumbs with your finger. It’s a delicious sweet… yum, yum!!! The only problem with peanut marzipans is that they go away really fast.
- 3½ cup (907 grams / 2 lb) toasted unsalted peanuts, skins removed
- 2½ confectioner's sugar
- In a food processor, grind the peanuts until finely ground. Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing. You need to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. The peanuts will release their oil and a compact paste will be formed, you know it’s ready when you press the paste between your fingers and it stays compact. Be patient because it will take a while, between 10-15 minutes.
- Press the paste into a circular cookie cutter until compacted. (I used a 7 centimeters/2.5 inches, cookie cutter, and I fill it up to ¾ of its height). Carefully remove the cookie cutter and repeat until all the paste is used up.
- Wrap each mazapan in tissue or wax paper.