Italian Ribbon Cookies

Recipe by Steve P.


  • 7
    ounces marzipan paste or 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1
    cup sugar
  • 1 12
    cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4
    large eggs, separated
  • 1
    teaspoon almond extract
  • 2
    cups sifted all-purpose flour (, sift before measuring)
  • 14
    teaspoon salt
  • 5
    drops green food coloring (or to desired color)
  • 5
    drops red food coloring (or to desired color)
  • 1
    (12 ounce) jar raspberry jam (preferably seedless)
  • 1
    ounces Baker's German sweet chocolate or (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease three (13" x 9") metal baking pans.
  • Line bottom of each with wax paper — letting it extend at two opposite ends — and grease paper.
  • Break marzipan paste into small pieces and grind with sugar in food processor until no lumps remain.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add butter.
  • Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then add yolks and almond extract and beat well.
  • Beat in flour and salt on low speed.
  • Beat egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold stiff peaks and stir one third into batter to lighten slightly (batter will still be stiff).
  • Fold in remaining whites thoroughly.
  • Cook's note: Do not make this dough ahead of time.
  • Divide dough into thirds (about 1 1/2 cups each).
  • Stir green food coloring into one third and red food coloring into another, leaving one third plain.
  • Spread each dough separately into a pan.
  • (Layers will be thin.) Bake layers in batches in middle of oven until just set and beginning to turn golden along edges, 7 to 10 minutes total.
  • Run knife along edges to loosen from pan, then while still hot, invert a large rack over pan and invert layer onto rack, pulling gently on wax paper overhangs to release if necessary.
  • Peel off wax paper and cool completely.
  • Line a large shallow baking pan with wax paper and slide green layer into it.
  • Spread half of jam evenly over green layer and carefully top with plain layer.
  • Spread remaining jam evenly over uncolored layer and carefully top with pink layer (trim edges if necessary).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with a large cutting board or baking pan.
  • Chill at least three hours.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
  • Remove weight and plastic wrap and spread chocolate evenly over top, but not sides, of pink layer.
  • Let stand at room temperature until set, about 1 hour, and cut into small diamonds or rectangles (12 rows crosswise and 12 diagonal rows).