Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mazapanes de Cacahuate {Peanut Marzipans}

Take a close look.  Now tell me...what do these look like to you?  And don't say Mazapanes de Cacahuate.  I mean, what else do they look like?  Let me give you a hint.  It's one of two components that make a much-loved, favorite-of-many sweet treat.  The most popular store bought version comes wrapped in brown paper and slides out of an orange, yellow and brown wrapper. I've made them before.  Yup.  They look like the inside of a peanut butter cup!  And you know what?  They taste like one, too.  I've never noticed the mazapanes de cacahuate that I bought from the Mexican market tasting like that, but I'm okay with that.  I remember them as being a bit chalkier (not in a bad way...if you can picture that).  They've always been a favorite of the hubs; he'll pick one up when he wants a sweet snack.  And I liked them...but I didn't go out of my way to get one.  But this version...oh yeah...I love.  As a matter of fact, we both did.  As did the wee ones.  Which makes it a super bad idea to make a batch unless there are a lot of people around to eat them.  Because otherwise, you'll eat them all yourself.  And while it'll feel amazing while you're doing it.  It won't feeling amazing afterwards.  Or so I would imagine...
Mazapanes de Cacahuate
Peanut Marzipans
from My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson
yield ~10

2 c. toasted unsalted peanuts*, skins removed
1½ c. confectioner's sugar

Grind the peanuts in a food processor.  Add the sugar and continue mixing, scraping the sides from time to time, until the peanuts release their oil and a compact paste is formed when you press some between your fingers.  It could take a while, depending on your food processor, be patient.
Put some of the paste into a 2" cookie or biscuit cutter, filling it up ~¾" high.  Press down with your fingers until compacted.  Remove the cutter carefully and repeat until all the paste is used up.

Wrap in cellophane or tissue paper, if you wish.**
*pistachios, pecans, or almonds could also be substituted to make a different type of marzipan.
**wrapping mazapanes/marzipans: To prepare a cellophane or tissue paper wrapping, cut 10 pieces into 4"x3" rectangles.  Then cut thin strips of a little less than 1" from the short sides toward the center all the way down.  Put the marzipans in the center and roll over so the candy is fully covered, then twist the ends.  
The only negative thing about these mazapanes- they disappear too quickly.  Which leaves a certain someone asking me when I'm going to make another batch.  Every hour or so.  When are you gonna make more?  Are you gonna make some more now?  Is this what you use to make the mazapan?  Do you need me to get your food processor for you?  I created a monster.

I do think these would be a fun treat to make and wrap and give out to guests.  So I will blame the fact that I didn't think ahead and buy some cellophane.  And the tissue paper was conveniently "hidden" until after they had all disappeared.  I was even out of parchment and wax paper.  I wound up cutting up some birthday treat bags that I had sitting around (where the tissue paper should have been) and using it to separate the marzipans.  They slid easily into a baggie or air tight container from that point.  Too bad they didn't stay there too long.  Not that they couldn't have.  Just that they didn't.
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