Venetians (Rainbow Cookies): Journal News Cookie Swap 2014

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This post is part of our series on my cookie swap tradition.  Every December, for the past ten years, I’ve invited friends to join me in a cookie exchange.  Over the years, our party has evolved into a mother-daughter event, hence the many recipe contributors listed on some of the posts!  Each post contains a favorite recipe from past exchanges.

This recipe comes from my extraordinarily creative and enthusiastic friend, Marianne.  An Italian bakery staple, these are a special treat to make for your family and friends!

Click here to see our recipe database with more from past Cookie Swaps. 

Venetians (Rainbow Cookies) by Marianne Dowling

Venetians (Rainbow Cookies) by Marianne Dowling

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 or 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 drops green food coloring
  • 8 drops of red food coloring
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 350 F.
  2. Grease 3 (13x9x2 inch) pans. Line with parchment paper; grease again.
  3. Break up almond paste in a large bowl with a fork. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat in flour and salt.
  4. Beat egg whites with electric mixer in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Using a wooden spoon, fold into almond mixture. Remove 1 ½ cups of batter; spread evenly into prepared pan. Remove another 1 ½ cups of batter and add the green food coloring. Spread evenly into second prepared pan. Add red food coloring to remaining 1 ½ cups and spread evenly into last pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cakes will be ¼ inch thick when done.
  5. Remove cakes from pans immediately and place on large wire racks. Cool thoroughly. Slide the green layer on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Spread ½ of the apricot preserve over green layer to the edges; slide yellow layer on top, right side up. Spread remaining apricot preserve over yellow layer to the edges; slide pink layer on top.
  6. Melt chocolate in a small cup over hot water or in a microwave oven. Spread to edges of cake; let cool for 30 minutes. If they stand longer chocolate will be me difficult to cut. Trim edges off the cake. Cut into small squares or rectangles.
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Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) can almond paste

3 sticks butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon almond extract

4 or 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 cups sifted flour

¼ teaspoon salt

10 drops green food coloring

8 drops of red food coloring

1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 F.

Grease 3 (13x9x2 inch) pans.  Line with parchment paper; grease again.

Break up almond paste in a large bowl with a fork.  Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract.  Beat in flour and salt.

Beat egg whites with electric mixer in a small bowl until soft peaks form.  Using a wooden spoon, fold into almond mixture.  Remove 1 ½ cups of batter; spread evenly into prepared pan.  Remove another 1 ½ cups of batter and add the green food coloring.  Spread evenly into second prepared pan.  Add red food coloring to remaining 1 ½ cups and spread evenly into last pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cakes will be ¼ inch thick when done.

Remove cakes from pans immediately and place on large wire racks.  Cool thoroughly.  Slide the green layer on the bottom of a cookie sheet.  Spread ½ of the apricot preserve over green layer to the edges; slide yellow layer on top, right side up.  Spread remaining apricot preserve over yellow layer to the edges; slide pink layer on top.

Melt chocolate in a small cup over hot water or in a microwave oven.  Spread to edges of cake; let cool for 30 minutes.  If they stand longer chocolate will be me difficult to cut.  Trim edges off the cake.  Cut into small squares or rectangles.

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About Author

Suburban Sweets columnist Josephine D’Ippolito is a baking enthusiast whose passion began more than twenty years ago, when, on a whim, she and her college friend made a single batch of cookies from scratch. One husband, three children and thousands of cookies later, Josephine enjoys the creative and culinary process of baking more than ever. Older, wiser and slightly more health conscious, she tends to justify her habit by making her desserts on the tiny side. Quite possibly her favorite day of the year is her annual cookie exchange held each December, when she gets to revel in the talent and sweetness of her dearest family and friends.

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