Venetian or Seven Layer Cookies

These were not something in our wheelhouse. However, I have a friend from Brooklyn and we celebrate Christmas Eve together. I make these for him because they were a big item back in New York, especially around Christmas. Note that this recipe is pretty standard but it differs from others in most call for a 13 – inch pan, and I think you will find most modern cookie sheets are 13.5 inches. The extra batter makes a difference.

Ingredients:

2 cups of butter at room temperature (should be 4 sticks)
6 eggs – separated
12 oz of almond paste
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
red and green food coloring
1 tsp of almond extract
6 oz dark chocolate (chips are fine)
1 small jar of raspberry jelly
1 small jar of apricot jelly

Technique

Separate six eggs and beat the white to stiff peaks. Place in a bowl and set aside (DO THIS FIRST!)

In a mixer, add almond paste and sugar. Let it mix until the paste is broken into small pea-sized pieces. Then add butter and beat again until light and fluffy. Next add egg yolks, almond extract, salt, and mix. Finally gradually add your flour. A very stiff batter will form.

While in the mixer, add in about 1/3 of the egg whites and mix on low. Once incorporate (it lighten the batter) fold in by hand the rest of the whites. Now, divide the batter up into 3 equal portions. I use a kitchen scale and weigh it out. You will have three equal portions of batter. To one of them, add green food coloring and mix well. To another add red, and mix well.

I line 3 13.5 by 9 inch pans with parchment paper and then grease them. Into each each plan place one bowl of batter. Try to spread it out evenly. This is by far the hardest part of this recipe. The batter is very stiff, likea cookie dough and spreading it very thin is tough. Take your time, move slow, use a small spatula if you can. You will get there.

Once all of the pans are filled, place in the middle rack of your oven and make for about 9 minutes. You want to see them just starting to brown a touch on the edges. Then you know they are done.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool a bit. At this time, I cut each sheet in half to make easier handling for the next part.

Now, take that small jar of raspberry and small jar of apricot jelly and put them in the microwave on high for a minute or two until they are warm and fairly spreadable.  With a pastry brush, put a think layer of jelly on the red sheet.  Then carefully place the white sheet on top of the red one.  This is where dividing it up makes it easier to handle.  If you use two spatulas and half a sheet, its prettyeasy to do.  Trying to manipulate the whole sheet takes more dexterity than I have.

After the white one is place, spread a thing layer of the other jelly on top of it. Then, place the green sheet on top of the white sheet.

At this point, there should be three layers of cookie with a jelly layer between each.  Now, take an empty sheet and place it on top of the green one.  Weigh it down with canned goods and set it in the refrigerator for about six hours.  Let it get cold and relatively smashed.

Finally, take your chocolate, and melt it in the microwave (or a double boiler if you prefer, but the microwave works just as easy and way faster).  Spread a thin layer on top of the green sheet.  Should now have two half sheets that are complete.

Once the chocolate has cooled, go ahead and cut then into 1.5 by 1.5 inch squares.  The guys from Brooklyn love it!