Italian Tri-Colour Cookies

May 6, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Italian tri-colour cookies are pretty as well as delicious. (Sandra Shields/The Epoch Times)
Italian tri-colour cookies are pretty as well as delicious. (Sandra Shields/The Epoch Times)
Also known as Italian almond cake or Neapolitan layer cookies, Italian tri-colour cookies are more like a cake or square than a cookie. They are baked like a cake, topped with a chocolate glaze then cut into pieces that are then called cookies.

500 ml (2 cups) flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
250 ml (1 cup) butter, unsalted, room temperature
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
200 g (7 oz) almond paste
4 large eggs
2 ml (1/2 tsp) almond extract
11 drops red food colour
7 drops green food colour
50 ml (1/4 cup) seedless raspberry jam
50 ml (1/4 cup) apricot jam
175 g (6 oz) bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 180º C (350ºF). Butter or spray 3 33×23-cm (13×9-inch) baking pans, or reuse one pan. Line pans with wax paper and lightly butter the paper.

Combine flour and baking soda. Cream butter, sugar and almond paste in a large bowl on medium high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating until well mixed. On low speed add in almond extract. Add flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Divide the dough into thirds. Tint one batch with the red food colouring, one batch with the green food colouring, and leave the last batch untinted.

Spread batter smoothly into each pan. Bake until cake edges turn golden, about 12 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking. Transfer cakes to racks and cool completely. Invert cake layers and remove wax paper. Transfer the green layer onto a large piece of plastic wrap and spread the raspberry jam on evenly. Top with the untinted layer and spread the apricot jam on evenly, then top with the pink layer to form a stack. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and place a heavy cutting board on top to compress and adhere the layers.

Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours or overnight. Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler or a pan set over simmering water. Remove plastic wrap from cake and spread the melted chocolate over the top layer. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate sets. With a sharp knife, trim .5-cm (1/4-inch) from edges. Cut lengthwise into 2.5-cm (1-inch) strips and then crosswise into 5-cm (2-inch) strips. Pack in freezer containers with wax paper between layers. Keep refrigerated or freeze for up to 2 or 3 months. Let stand at room temperature before serving.