Adapted from Inside the Jewish Bakery, Stanley Ginsberg & Norman Berg
These tri–color, almond flavored, chocolate coated cookies are a staple at Jewish bakeries...and also Italian bakeries. They are very popular and usually are included on the cookie tray assortment at gathering and social events. They do take time to make but are worth the effort. And homemade – well, what could be better!
1 cup almond paste, at room temperature
1 cup eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 3⁄4 cups plus 2 Tbs. cake flour
1 3⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
15-20 drops each of red, yellow and green food colorings
1⁄4 cup apricot or raspberry jam
Simple Chocolate Icing:
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 1⁄3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mash almond paste with a fork, then use electric mixer to blend the paste with 1⁄4 cup of beaten eggs until smooth. Add butter, shortening, salt and remaining egg. Beat until soft and light in color – approximately 7-8 minutes
Add the flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, then the vanilla extract. Continue creaming until batter is evenly mixed with a very light texture – similar to buttercream
Divide batter into 3 equal portions in separate bowls. Add a different food coloring to each and whisk each until blended. To bake, put each color batter separately into a greased 8-by-8-inch baking pan and bake on middle rack until a toothpick comes out dry, approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool on racks. (If you only have one pan, rinse, dry and re-grease the pan between uses.)
Melt the jam in a double boiler or over very low heat to avoid burning. Brush a thin a layer of jam over the green layer and immediately top with yellow layer. Brush the yellow layer the same way and top with the red layer. Wrap the block of layers in plastic and return to a baking pan. Top with a weighted baking pan, (Use about 3 lbs. of weight on top to help compress the layers.) Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Simple Chocolate Icing: Combine water, corn syrup, cocoa and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly, add the hot liquid to the sugar, stirring constantly until icing reaches desired consistency. Let cool slightly until spreadable
Remove the cake layers from the refrigerator and cut into four even bricks, each 2 inches wide. Apply a thin coating of icing to the top and sides with a metal spatula. When the icing is almost hardened, use a sharp knife to cut the bricks into 1/2-inch slices. Can be made ahead and frozen.
Yield; Makes 4 to 5 dozen
KosherEye Note: For a non-dairy version, substitute non-dairy margarine for the butter.
Recipes: Desserts, Cookies, Rainbow Cookies, Dairy or Parve, Kosher