Soy vanilla chai
The warm spices of this comforting drink pair well with the rich marzipan flavor.
In a small mixing bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and some of the sugar and lightly stir. Let sit for approx. 5 min., until it becomes foamy on top. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together some of the eggs and oil.
In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment, mix together flour, salt, and sugar. When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture, followed by egg mixture, and stir to combine. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead for approx. 5 – 10 min., adding more flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic (it will still be slightly sticky). Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature until it doubled in size, approx. 2 hrs.
Meanwhile, make the marzipan filling. Separate remaining egg, and set aside the yolk for later. In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Mix in salt and egg white, add almond extract, then stir in the almond flour until smooth and combined.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, if needed, and preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. When the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly dusted work surface and divide into small balls. Flatten each ball slightly, and fill with a heaping tablespoon of marzipan filling. Seal well, then place the balls seam side-down on the baking sheets, spaced evenly apart. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for approx. 30 more min.
In a small bowl, beat the reserved egg yolk with a splash of water and brush onto the rolls, working with 3 rolls at a time in order to ensure that the black sesame seeds stick to the egg wash. Use tweezers to stick on two black sesame seeds for eyes and scissors to make two 1-cm/0.5-in cuts for ears. Bake for approx. 15 – 20 min., or until golden brown.
Leave hedgehogs to cool. Meanwhile make the glaze. in a small bowl, mix together confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and milk, adding additional milk a few drops at a time if the glaze is too thick to spread. Working one at a time, spread a circle of glaze onto the rolls, then top with overlapping rows of sliced almond. Enjoy!