Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2:39 PM
Subject: "Marzipan" Coconut Cookies
My name is Cindy and I have been searching 10+ years for a cookie/candy recipe that my grandmother made at Christmas time.
From what I know of my grandmother, this recipe was probably one of the more complicated and/or time consuming things she
made—that’s why it was only made once a year. In her last months, she stopped baking altogether but the years before that
she would always say “I raised 6 kids—I’ve cooked and baked enough”. So, anything she made was either extremely easy or
quite complicated and especially for an occasion. It is a mystery to all of us as to which kind of recipe this was, but
the majority of her favorite or most requested recipes came from can labels, magazine/newspaper clippings, or her 1969
Betty Crocker cookbook (the one with the pie shaped pictures—fondue, layer cake, salad, etc.—on the front cover). I have
tried, unsuccessfully, to duplicate this recipe and while I have come very close there is just something missing.
She called it “marzipan” but it was not simply an almond paste candy as it contained coconut. Other ingredients were
possibly ground pecans, powdered sugar, red food coloring or maraschino cherry juice, and almond paste. I never actually
saw her make it as it was always a special gift to her granddaughters for Christmas, but I’m guessing from the shape and
texture of the finished product that it had to be a rather stiff dough. The cookies were not baked, but were molded into
little hearts of various sizes. The texture was slightly granular, not smooth like traditional marzipan, but still very
moist and quite delicate as you bit into it. I remember they smelled of almond and coconut and the color was not bright red,
but more of a muted rose color. The crumb was tender, but there was a bit of texture from the coconut. However, you could
not pick out individual pieces of any one ingredient—they all seemed to have been processed together finely into this delicious
dough, then simply pressed into molds.
I have tried almond paste, sweetened flaked coconut, pecans, a splash of cherry juice, and powdered sugar in my food processor
to make the dough. It looked very similar and tasted almost just like hers… but the dough was crumbly and would not hold a shape
like hers did. When trying to make the dough more moist so as to hold together better, it just became stickier and harder to
work with. I have searched the internet, every cookbook she owned, as well as my great-aunt’s cookbooks—she didn’t care for the
cookies, so she never learned to make them—all to no avail. I fear this very special recipe may have died with my Grandmother
ten years ago. I am desperately hoping that you can help me because I am stumped. I gave up searching for years, but happened
upon your site last night. I’m hoping that you can help find this recipe as I would love to recreate it and give to my mom and
daughters for Christmas this year.
Thanks so much for your time,
I’m finding plenty of “marzipan” recipes, including this article on how to make marzipan hearts:
I also found a recipe for “creamy coconut hearts": Creamy Coconut Hearts
However, marzipan hearts are just marzipan, and these “creamy coconut hearts" are made with white chocolate and coconut,
not almond paste. As you can imagine, heart shaped candies and cookies are more of a Valentine’s Day recipe than a Christmas one.
There are marzipan cookies recipes, of course, but those contain flour and are baked.
That said, look at the below recipe. It’s titled “Christmas Strawberries Or Balls - Marzipan”. It doesn’t have any ground pecans,
but it has the almond paste and coconut and it’s not baked. It has the red color because of the red food coloring and more if you use
strawberry or cherry jello. The sweetened condensed milk would correct the problems with the dough that you describe.
This is the closest thing that I could find to your description. If it’s not exactly the recipe that your grandmother used, perhaps it
will give you a starting point from which to experiment.
Christmas Strawberries Or Balls - Marzipan
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. pure almond paste
1 tbsp. sugar
4 oz. pkg. Jello (1 flavor or several)
Extra Jello to roll dough in
1 lb. coconut
Work ingredients together; refrigerate to a workable stage. With floured hands, form into balls or strawberry forms, then
roll in extra Jello; divide dough into 4 parts and add a little food coloring to each with fork before refrigerating it.
You can make different kinds of miniature fruits or Christmas balls (or hearts); stick gold thread in top as if to hang up.
Use frosting in a pastry tube to make a strawberry leaf, etc.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so excited to try to this recipe as it sounds so much like what my grandmother made.
I’m guessing she made hearts instead of strawberries because those were the molds she had on hand. I have kept those little
metal heart-shaped tins all these years, just hoping I would come across the recipe someday. You just don’t know how much
this means to me…. Tears of joy!
Thanks so much!
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:43 PM
Subject: Recipe request
I am looking for the recipe that Tomato Street restaurant in Spokane Washington uses for their creamy garlic dressing.
It used to be Tomato Street Bros. but it changed it’s name. All I really know about it is it contains salad oil and
no sour cream. I tried The Berghoff's Dressing recipe that you have on this site and while it was wonderful it wasn’t
like the one I am looking for. If you can be of any help at my co-worker and I would be very appreciative.
Thanks - LeAnn
Tomato Street has a website here: Tomato Street
I had no success finding a recipe, a copycat, or any additional information about Tomato Street’s creamy garlic dressing.
I can’t suggest a “tastes like” recipe because I have never dined at Tomato Street and have no idea what their dressing
is like. I’ll post this in case a reader who has had their dressing can recommend a “tastes like.”
If their dressing contains no sour cream, then perhaps it’s made with buttermilk or yogurt?
Tomato Street Creamy Garlic Dressing
A few Restaurants in Spokane buy Dressing Mixes from:
Uncle Dan's Inc.
PO Box 3325
Spokane Washington, 99220-3325
Perhaps if Leann contacts Uncle Dan's Inc. maybe they can help. They sell individual packages for home use.
Timm in Oregon
Note: Albertson's and Safeway sell Uncle Dan's products.
I tried the Uncle Dan’s Mediterranean Creamy Garlic Dressing Mix and it is exactly what I was looking for
– thank you so much!
Woolworth's Baked Beefaroni (Hamburger & Macaroni)
20 5 oz portions
1 1/2 oz Primex (or other shortening)
4 oz Green pepper
8 oz Onions
Finely chop onions and green peppers. Saute in hot Primex until tender
but not brown - about 15 minutes
2 lbs 8 ozs Ground chuck or bottom round
1/2 oz Salt & Pepper mix
To above, add chopped meat and saute until brown - about 15 minutes.
1 #2-1/2 can Tomatoes (1 lb, 14 oz by weight)
Add tomatoes to above.* Bring to boil and simmer in covered pot for 30 minutes.
12 oz Macaroni (uncooked) (2 lbs 12 oz cooked)
Add meat sauce to cooked macaroni. Mix to evenly distribute. Bake in 400° oven
until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Sauce: For 20 5 oz portions, prepare 1 qt tomato sauce. See Method Sheet Gravies #15.
(I do not have Method Sheet Gravies #15.)
(* It's not clear to me whether any water should be added here or whether the liquid
from the canned tomatoes is enough.)