A mixture of blanched ground almonds, sugar and glycerin or other liquid. Almond extract is sometimes added to intensify the flavor. Almond paste is used in a variety of confections and is less sweet and slightly coarser than marzipan. It should be firm but pliable before use in a recipe. If it becomes hard, it can be softened by heating for 2 or 3 seconds in a microwave oven. Once opened, it should be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. Almond paste is available in most supermarkets in cans and plastic packages. Bitter-almond paste is used to flavor the famous amaretti cookies.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.