Venetian Cookies

Recipe by Deb Wolf
READY IN: 1hr 10mins
SERVES: 72
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
  • 4
    large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1
    cup sugar, divided
  • 1
    (7 -8 ounce) container almond paste
  • 1 14
    cups butter or 1 1/4 cups margarine, softened
  • 1
    teaspoon almond extract (essence)
  • 14
    teaspoon salt
  • red food coloring
  • green food coloring
  • 1
    (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves, warmed and strained
  • 6
    ounces semisweet chocolate or 6 ounces white chocolate
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DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" jelly-roll pans; line pans with waxed paper, allow waxed paper to extend over ends of pans. Grease and flour waxed paper.
  • Beat egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  • In large bowl with same beaters (no need to wash them), with mixer at low speed, beat almond paste and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until it forms small lumps.
  • Beat in margarine or butter until blended. Beat in egg yolks and almond extract. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour and salt just until combined.
  • With rubber or silicone spatula, fold egg whites into almond mixture, one-third at a time, until combined.
  • Remove one third of batter (about 1 1/2 rounded cups) to a small bowl. Remove half of remaining batter to another small bowl. You should have equal amounts of batter in all three bowls.
  • Stir red food coloring into one bowl of batter (5 drops for pastel, 20 drops for dark color).
  • Stir green food coloring into second bowl of batter.
  • Leave the third bowl uncolored.
  • Spread batter into the three pans (one color per pan). With offset metal spatula, spread batter as evenly as possible; each layer will be about 1/8" thick.
  • Bake layers 10-13 minutes, rotating pany halfway through cooking time, until layers are just set. Watch closely, you want this to be slightly undercooked.
  • Let layers cool 5 minutes in pans on wire racks. Invert layers onto racks; leave waxed paper attached; cool completely.
  • When all 3 layers have cooled, place green layer on a platter, remove waxed paper; spread with half of the apricot preserves. Place white layer on top of the green layer, waxed paper side up; remove waxed paper. Spread with remaining apricot preserves. Place red layer on top of white layer; remove waxed paper. Press down gently over entire surface to make sure all layers are firmly attached to each other.
  • With a serrated knife, trim edges about 1/4" from each side (cooks' treat). Spread melted chocolate on top of red layer (not on sides). Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Cut layers lengthwise into 6 strips. Cut each strip into 12 small rectangles.
  • Store cookies in refrigerator in a covered container, with waxed paper between layers.
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