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German Walnut Marzipan Cookies

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Walnut marzipan cookies, German-style. Pretty swirl cookies, incredibly delicious and perfect for the holiday season.

many swirl cookies filled with marzipan on a plate with a glass of milk.

Buttery pastry rolls filled with walnuts and marzipan; these beautiful swirl cookies are a holiday treat you cannot miss.

I first made the German walnut marzipan cookies years ago, just because I happened to have an open bag of marzipan paste leftover from making Heidesand cookies. And I haven’t stopped baking them ever since; they make it on the Christmas cookie list every year.

And if you like swirl cookies, see the Orange Jam Swirl Cookies. Or check out our collection of The Best German Cookies.

Recipe ingredients

  • Marzipan or almond paste: The kind used for baking, not the expensive one, sold to be eaten as a dessert. The marzipan paste can be eaten as it is, but it is less delicate, less expensive, and is meant to be used in baking or for decorating cakes.
  • Eggs: One whole large egg for the dough and one egg white for the marzipan-walnut filling.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter, European-style, with 82% – 85% fat. Low-fat butter won’t work for making good cookies.
    • Unsalted butter is best for baking as it allows you to control your salt amount. However, if all you have is salted butter, omit the salt added to the dough.
  • Vanilla: As this is a German recipe, you would typically use vanilla sugar, not vanilla extract. However, if vanilla sugar is unavailable where you live, about ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract does the job.
  • Other ingredients: All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and ground walnuts.
close up marzipan cookies with walnuts.

How to make swirl walnut marzipan cookies?

Cookie dough:

  • Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and salt) in a food processor. Pulse shortly to mix the ingredients. Add egg, cubed butter, and vanilla extract. Pulse a few times until you obtain rough crumbs (1).
  • Turn the pastry onto the working surface and knead quickly to form a ball (2).
collage of two pictures of making pastry in food processor and shaping it into a ball.
  • Refrigerate: Wrap the ball in plastic and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes (3).
small bowl with walnut marzipan filling for cookies.

Filling:

  • Mix sugar, ground walnuts, egg white, and grated marzipan until you obtain a paste.

Make cookies:

  • Preheat the oven and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the pastry into a rectangle (4). Halve it lengthwise to get two long strips of pastry. Halve these strips widthwise as well. In the end, you should have four pastry strips (5).
collage of two pictures of a rectangle of rolled pastry cut into four parts.
  • Spread the filling on all the pastry sheets using a knife or your fingers (6).
  • Roll the strips into sausages (7).
collage of two pictures of spreading walnut filling or rolled dough.
  • Cut each sausage into slices (about 4 mm/1.5 inches thick) (8).
  • Place them on a baking sheet (9).
collage of two pictures of cutting swirl cookies and placing them on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the swirled marzipan cookies for about 12 -15 minutes until golden.
  • Leave the cookies on the baking tray for another 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Expert Tips

  • Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link). One cup of flour or one cup of butter can differ so much in weight depending on who’s weighing. And too much or too little of these ingredients would ruin the recipe.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, mix the dough with an electric mixer with hood attachments or combine everything with a butter knife and then with the hands. Your hands should be cold when making this kind of pastry; the butter should not get warm.
  • Please don’t move the walnut marzipan cookies immediately after baking; they are very tender and might break. Leave them on the baking tray for another 10 minutes; they will firm up as they cool.

Recipe FAQ

What is marzipan?

A confection made from blanched ground almonds, icing sugar, and almond extract. Marzipan is not precisely the same as almond paste (the sugar-almond ratio and the texture are slightly different), but it is often called almond paste in North America.

Can I use almond paste instead of marzipan?

While the swap might not work for another recipe, it will work fine here.

Can I make them in advance?

Sure, at least partially. You can make the dough several days in advance, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it.
You can fill the rolls one day in advance, wrap them well and refrigerate them. Slice them before baking.

How to store?

Store at room temperature in an airtight container; they will keep for about five days.
Freeze the marzipan cookies in a freezer container between layers of waxed paper to prevent them from freezing together in a block. Defrost on the counter.

german swirl cookies with walnut marzipan filling on a plate.

More Christmas cookies

Do you like this recipe?

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plate of swirl cookies with marzipan seen from above.

German Walnut Marzipan Cookies

Walnut marzipan cookies, German-style. Pretty swirl cookies, incredibly delicious and perfect for the holiday season.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 50
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • 2 cookie sheets
  • Food processor or electric mixer with hook attachments

Ingredients 

Cookie dough (Note 1):

  • 250 g all-purpose flour 9 oz/ 2 cups
  • 70 g granulated sugar 2.5 oz/ 1/3 cup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg large
  • 125 g unsalted butter very cold 4.5 oz/ ½ cup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract Note 2

Marzipan filling:

  • 50 g granulated sugar 1.7 oz/ ¼ cup
  • 150 g ground walnuts 5.3 oz/ 1 ¼ cups
  • 1 egg white
  • 25 g marzipan paste 0.8 oz/ ¼ cup grated and loosely packed, Notes 3, 4

Instructions

Cookie dough:

  • Combine: Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse shortly to mix the ingredients. Add egg, cubed butter, and vanilla extract. Pulse a few times until you obtain rough crumbs.
  • Knead: Turn the pastry onto the working surface and knead quickly to form a ball.
  • Refrigerate: Wrap the ball in plastic and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • Mix sugar, ground walnuts, egg white, and grated marzipan until you obtain a paste.

Make cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Flour the working surface and the rolling pin.
  • Roll the pastry into a rectangle (40 cm/ 16 inches and 22 cm/ 8.5 inches wide). Halve the pastry lengthwise to get two long strips of pastry.
    Halve these strips widthwise as well.
    In the end, you should have 4 pastry strips, each about 20 cm/ 8 inches long and about 11 cm/ 4.5 cm wide.
  • Fill dough: Divide the filling between the pastry strips and spread all over using a knife or your fingers (I found it easier with the fingers, messier but easier). Roll the pastry strips into sausages. Cut each sausage into about 4 mm/ 1.5-inch-thick slices.
  • Bake: Place the slices on the prepared trays. Bake for about 12 -15 minutes until golden.

Notes

  1. Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. You can replace vanilla extract with 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar if available.
  3. Marzipan or almond paste: The kind used for baking, not the expensive one, sold to be eaten as it is. The marzipan paste can be eaten as it is, but it is less delicate, less expensive, and is meant to be used in baking or for decorating cakes.
  4. Marzipan is often called almond paste in North America, although the two are not quite the same thing. However, you can substitute marzipan with almond paste in this recipe.
  5. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days. Freeze them between layers of waxed paper for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 21mg | Sugar: 7g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating




Chris Scheuer

Thursday 24th of December 2015

Beautiful cookies! You have been a busy baker this year! So many good things. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Angie@Angie's Recipes

Thursday 24th of December 2015

My husband will be crazy for these cookies too. They look great, Adina. Happy Holidays to you and your family! Angie

Kathryn Doherty

Thursday 24th of December 2015

Merry Christmas indeed! These cookies look and sound amazing! They are so sweet with those little swirls going through them - beautiful for company, or just for Santa ;) Hope you have a fabulous holiday! XO

Thao @ In Good Flavor

Thursday 24th of December 2015

You must have been every mother's dream...a child who does not like sweets! I imagine there would be less of a battle over eating junk food. These cookies look wonderful! Short crust pastry rolls, walnuts, and marzipan are a winning cookie combination. And they don't seem super sweet which I can appreciate. Have a wonderful Christmas, Adina!