Three-Layer Venetian Cookies
  • 1 can (8oz) almond paste
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tblsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • Red & green food coloring
  • 1 jar (12 oz) apricot jelly or
  • preserves
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 pkg chocolate chips (or 3 squares baking
  • chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon solid shortening (Crisco)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease three 13 x 9 inch jelly roll pans, line with waxed paper, allowing to hang over 1" on each end. Lightly grease waxed paper. Break up almond paste in a large bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks (yolks only) & almond extract. Beat with elec mixer until fluffy. Beat in flour and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into almond mixture until well blended. Divide mixture into thirds. Add green food coloring to one, red food coloring to another, and leave the third portion plain. Using your fingers, spread each portion into it's own cookie sheet. Press and spread until an even layer covers the whole sheet. Bake until just set. Do not let it brown. It will only take 10 to 15 minutes, so watch carefully. Immediately remove layers from pans using waxed paper overhang and place on wire racks to cool. Heat apricot jelly in a small saucepan. (If using preserves, put through food processor to eliminate chunks) Place green layer, top down, on a clean cookie sheet. Carefully peel off waxed paper. Spread 1/2 of heated jelly evenly over green layer to the edges. Place yellow layer, top down, on top of green layer. Remove waxed paper and spread with remaining jelly. Place red layer, top up, on yellow layer. Cover with plastic wrap and weight down with something heavy like a cutting board and put in the refrig overnight. Press it down good so the layers will stick together. Melt chocolate & shortening together in a saucepan, the microwave or by placing in a Pyrex bowl or cup in the oven for a few minutes. Spread evenly over the top layer and let cool until hardened (10 min). Trim outer edges if necessary and cut into bite size pieces
These traditional Italian almond flavored cookies have long been the favorite among all the cookies I make at Christmastime.