I saw these cookies on the sweet adventures of sugarbelle and immediately thought of my sister, who will be starting her second year teaching first graders. They sounded tasty, looked super cute, and didn’t seem too complicated to me. I immediately decided I had to make them for her as a back to school treat. The one part I wasn’t too excited about was making frosting just to add leaves to them. I decided to dye the leftover marzipan and cut out leaves from it. I think it worked out well.
This was the first time I worked with a red gel dye and I have to admit I found it to be a little finicky. First they looked pink, then I added additional dye (quite a bit in my opinion) to get the batch to look red. After chilling they looked pretty good, but when they came out of the oven they were bright neon pink! After cooling they returned to a kinda pinkish red, but close enough to realize it’s supposed to be an apple.
The cookie is not a super sweet cookie and has a mild almond flavor, but to be honest, I don’t think I’m a huge fan of marzipan and would probably just use sugar cookie dough if I want to make little cookies that look like apples again in the future.
Disclaimer from Matthew: Do not eat the clove part.
These are the unbaked cookies:
These are the completed Back to School Cookies:
I got a little over 4 dozen cookies from this batch
- 8 oz marzipan (I found it at world market, I also used some extra and dyed it green and cut out the leaves that way)
- 1 cup butter softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 ½ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- Red food coloring gel (the liquid may change the texture)
- Whole colves
Microwave the marzipan for a couple seconds to soften it and then mix it in the stand mixer with the butter for several minutes to cream it. Add sugars and mix for another couple minutes until mixed well. Add the egg, extracts, and food coloring and mix until combined. Then add the flour and salt and mix until combined. If needed you can add more red extract (I did).
I used my small scooper which I usually use for truffles to scoop out the cookie mix and rolled the dough into balls. Press lightly to make a small indent. Do not press too hard or the cookie will have cracks. Add the clove on the top of the cookie. The cookies should be chilled for at least an hour.
While the cookies were chilling I got the leaves ready. I put the extra marzipan in a bag and added yellow and blue food dye until the green was to my liking. Then I rolled it out in between plastic wrap because it seemed sticky. I chilled the marzipan to make it easier to cut. I cut out 50ish small ovals to be the leaves. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. The bottom of the cookie will have browned a little. Once the cookies are cooled I added the marzipan leaves and wrapped them up!