In Norway it just wouldn’t be… couldn’t be Christmas without marzipan. And I mean marzipan EVERYTHING. Marzipan pigs (don’t even ask me to explain that one…), chocolate covered marzipan logs, marzipan covered cakes, painted marzipan figures of fruit and elves, a million varieties of marzipan candies… You name it, the Norwegians probably put marzipan on (or in) it for Christmas.
And not surprisingly my husband, the Norwegian, LOVES marzipan. Any time he spies that little marzipan log in my grocery basket it’s all “What’s that? What are you making? Are you going to make it when we get home? Like today? How long are your blog photos going to take? But most importantly, WHEN CAN I EAT IT??” Marzipan is to him, what ice cream is to me.
Seriously, you gotta sneak that shit into this house like it’s contraband!
So you can only imagine his excitement when I told him two of his all time favorite things would be coming together to make the ultimate marzipan infused pasty love child. There was drool. Drool for DAYS.
That’s right people, we’re talking about a marzipan brioche! I know, let’s just back this truck up for a moment. Marzipan. BRIOCHE. I’mma paint you a picture: soft, ever-so-slightly flaky brioche with just the hint of Christmasy spice (cinnamon… we’re talking about cinnamon here) twisted around a rich marzipan filling, baked until just golden and crispy.
Yeah, Christmas baking just got real! So put on that cozy Christmas sweater, crank up those jingles, and settle in for some perfectly Christmasy breakfast baking!Print
- Yield: 10 pastries
- Category: Dessert
For the brioche:
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs +1 for egg wash, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (226g) butter, slightly softened
For the marzipan filling:
- 1/3 cup cream or milk
- 8.8 oz (250g) marzipan
- Coarsely chopped almonds
- Powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Stir together the dry ingredients for the brioche in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the 4 eggs and milk, and mix together using the dough hook attachment on low-medium speed until firm and elastic (about 4 minutes). Add the butter a few pieces at a time while continuing to mix on low-medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and shiny (about 4 more minutes). The butter should be completely incorporated at this point, but if it’s not, you can hand knead it until it is. The dough should be very soft, but resist the urge to add more flour. Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until about double in size (about an hour).
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead, working it back into a ball. Return to the lightly greased bowl and allow to rise until about double in size again (about another hour).
- In a bowl, mash together your cream and marzipan for the filling. It can be a little difficult to work it together in the beginning, but keep working it with a fork or a potato masher (or even your hands) until mostly lump free. A few lumps here and there are ok.
- Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle about a 1/2″ thick. Spread a thin layer of the marzipan filling over the lower half of the long side of dough, and fold in half. Cut the dough into 1″ wide strips. Twist each strip, crossing the ends across each other and folding them under the pastry. Place the pastries on several parchment lined baking sheets, and cover with a hand towel. Allow to rise until almost double in size (about an hour).
- Brush the pastries with your whisked egg wash, and sprinkle with chopped almonds (optional). Bake at 375F/190C for 15-20 minutes (time is based on how big you make the pastries. Mine took closer to the 20 minute mark). Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar.
Brioche recipe adapted from Fine Cooking