Snails of Mazapán de Toledo (Marzipan of Toledo) are claimed to be invented by the nuns of Toledo of the Convent of San Clemente following the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 which was an effort to take back territory occupied by the Moors. The nuns then sold the little mazapán shapes, including the snail, to the St James walk pilgrims. The recipe has been amended to remove cane sugar and add the surprise of rose water.
1. Mix the almond meal and sugar thoroughly to break up any lumps.
2. Add in the egg white and 1 tablespoon of rose water.
3. Start by mixing with a hand blender. Eventually you can switch to kneading it with your hands.
4. If it’s too dry you can slowly add more rose water.
5. The dough is ready when it’s uniform and soft but able to be moulded.
6. To make your first shape take a ball of the dough that’s about 3 cm)
7. Roll into a small sausage and twist to form a knot with the ends poking out to resemble the head and tail of a snail. You can make it into different shapes.
8. Place the shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
9. Turn your oven onto 120C
10. Beat the egg yolk. Brush the shapes with it. Or use the sugar glaze
11. Place the cookie sheet in the oven
12. Be careful! They cook very quickly. Check them every minute or two.
13. Keep watching until they’re golden brown. (Be careful not to burn them!)
14. When done, place cookies on a baking rack until cool.
15. Place cookies in a tin to keep them fresh.
You can substitute the almonds for 50/50 macadamia and almond or 100% macadamia meal. Other nuts do not have the oil content
Serving Size 3 cm