Thursday, December 27, 2012

Italian Neapolitan Cookies aka Venetians

As some of you know, I hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange last week. We had a great time!! As I get the recipes from my friends I will post them here on Punkie Pie's blog. First up we have these delightful Italian Neapolitan Cookies. There are also known as Venetians. They are delicious! My friend says they are some what labor intensive and they need to be made ahead and store in the frig overnight. I do think I will give them a try. Maybe for Easter .. Thinking I could replace the chocolate layer with white chocolate.

  • 1 can (8 oz) almond paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 drops liquid green food coloring
  • 8 drops liquid red food coloring
  • 1 jar (12 oz) apricot preserves
  • 2 1/2 squares (1 oz each) semisweet chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat three 13x9x2-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray; line with waxed apper, allowing paper to come up the short ends; spray paper.Break up almond paste in large bowl.Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
  2. Beat in flour and salt.
  3. With a clean beater, beat egg whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into almond mixture until well blended.
  4. Divid mixture into three equal portions. Add green food coloring to one portion and red food coloring to another, leaving the last portion yello. Separately spread each colored portion into prepared pans.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove the cakes from pans, using the waxed paper overhang.
  6. Heat apricot preserves in small saucepan, strain through sieve. Place green cake layer on jelly-roll pan. Spread half of the warm preserves over layer to edges; slide yellow layer on top; spread with remaining apricot preserves; slide pink layer, right side up, onto yellow layer.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap; weight down with large wooden cutting board or heavy plate. Place in refrigerator overnight.
  8. Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot water. Trim edges off cake. Spread melted chocolate to edges of cake; let dry 10 minutes or until hardened. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Additional Notes:
  • Be sure to use a clean beater when  mixing egg whites.
  • Use enough Apricot preserves between layers to make them stick together, too much and they will slide.
  • I place a heavy book on them in the frig.
  • I melt 1 & 1/2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips for top layer.
  • Be sure to cut while chocolate is warm or, with a warm knife or it will crack.
  • Store in closed containers ~ They freeze well!


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