This one is for my friend, Brenda, who told me she can not find these at any bakery near her and she misses them. They are a favorite of hers and this is my first go at them.
These are an Italian cookie and therefore are supposed to be colored like the Italian flag. I am not Italian. I was thinking these would be fun to do in different colors sometime. Like 3 different shades of blue or pink and red. Purists may disagree.
I’m not gonna lie to you. These are time-consuming. From start to finish with refrigeration time it took me about 24 hours. Actually I got them assembled in one day but I gave them a night in the fridge before cutting to make sure everything was set and the chocolate on top was hard.
The 3 layers are all the same flavor (almond) just colored differently. The batter is easy to whip up. Then you divide it into 3 equal parts and color one red and one green. You leave the 3rd portion uncolored.
Three 8×8 pans are required for this. I only have one. (And even that is actually a 9×9) But sometimes I buy tin pans and put them away to use for casseroles I am taking to friends or neighbors. (That way I never lose a dish.) It just so happened I had 3 8×8 tin pans stashed away so I used those.
Make sure and grease the pan and line with parchment. The layers are pretty thin. Once they’ve baked you really need to let them cool ALL THE WAY. No cheating or your layers will fall apart when you try to get them out of the pan.
Between each layer is a thin coating of apricot jam. It sounds a little odd if you have never had them before but, the almond and apricot really compliment each other. After the layered stack has chilled for a while (I chilled it a few hours) and the apricot jam has sort of fused the cake layers together, the entire thing gets a thin coat of chocolate on top.
You’ll want to refrigerate the entire thing again to make sure the chocolate is hard. I actually gave it overnight in the fridge just to ensure it was all set and melded together. When you do slice it be very gentle. The chocolate may crack a little as you go.
These are awesome! I love almond. They are very rich and moist and kinda chewy.
Brenda lives an hour or so away. So although these were made with her in mind, Tim and I had to eat them ourselves. Such a burden.
But, Brenda, these were my trial run for you. And they are
good great. So my promise to you is that the next time I see you I will plan ahead and have a batch ready for you. That’s that carrot I’m dangling, lady!
8 ounce can almond paste (In the aisle with the canned pie fillings at the grocery store)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
green food coloring
red food coloring
1/2 cup apricot jam (large chunks picked out and discarded)
3 ounces of semisweet chocolate
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 8″x8″ baking pans and line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl beat together almond paste, sugar, extracts, and butter. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add flour and salt and mix in slowly.
In 2 small bowls add one cup of the batter to each bowl. (there will be another cup left in the mixing bowl.) Add red food coloring to one bowl and green to the other. Stir the coloring in well.
Spoon the untinted batter into one of the greased pans. Spread the batter evenly into the pan with a spatula. Do the same thing with the red and the green in the 2 remaining pans.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cakes entirely!
Loosen cakes up with a knife and carefully remove from the pans once cooled. On a pan lined with wax paper place green layer. Top with 1/4 cup of the jam. Place the white layer on top of the jam. Top the white layer with the other 1/4 cup of jam. Place the red layer on top of the stack. Cover the entire stack and refrigerate for a couple of hours so the jam and cake have time to set together.
After a couple of hours, melt the chocolate and shortening together. Carefully spread the chocolate on the top (not the sides) of the stack of cake. Let the stack cool for about and hour in the fridge. Then you can either wrap the entire thing and chill overnight before slicing or you can slice it as soon as the chocolate is set.
It will make 24 to 36 cookies depending on how small you cut them. But bear in mind that they are very rich so don’t cut them too big. You can refrigerate them up to a week or freeze them for a few months if you like.