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4.47 from 13 votes

Traditional German Bethmännchen (Marzipan Cookies)

Delicious centuries-old German Christmas cookies that are easy to make and taste wonderful!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 35 cookies
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 8 oz Easy Homemade Marzipan (click link for recipe) SEE NOTE
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground blanched almonds/almond meal (for the sake of consistency and ensuring the almonds are dry and compact enough, I recommend using store-bought almond meal)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium egg white
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1 medium egg yolk , mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • 3/4 cup blanched whole almonds split in half (see post for pictured instructions on how to blanch and skin almonds)


  • Preheat to 300 degrees F
  • Break marzipan into small pieces in a mixing bowl. Sift the powdered sugar over the marzipan and add the ground almonds, flour, rose water and egg white. Use your hands to combine the ingredients in to a dough. The dough will be somewhat sticky but it will get firm after it's sat in the fridge. If too sticky, add some more ground almonds and powdered sugar.
  • Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Roll the dough into small balls, no more than 1-inch in diameter. Sprinkle your hands with a little flour or powdered sugar if the dough is too sticky. Place the balls on a lined cookie sheet and press 3 almond halves evenly around each cookie, pointed side up. Brush each cookie with the egg yolk mixture and bake for about 15 minutes until the egg wash turns golden in color.
  • Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.


Not all marzipan is created equal.  Some use a higher ratio of sugar to almonds which may result in your cookies deflating.  For the best results, be sure to use the homemade marzipan.
Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 41mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.4mg