I am excited for this post because it’s about my husband’s (and my) favorite Christmas cookie of all time — Venetians! Venetians are those pretty 3-layered (pink, yellow & green) cookies that are covered in chocolate. They are an Italian cookie that has almond paste inside the cake layers and raspberry jam (sometimes apricot) spread between the layers of cake. They are delicious and we absolutely love these cookies! When I was little, I used to eat each layer one at a time starting with the chocolate top all the way down to the chocolate bottom. I love this cookie, but I must confess that this is a very time consuming recipe, probably one of the most difficult I make. First, you need 3 cookies sheets that are the same size. This enables you to make each layer the exact same size or at least close to it. Also, there are several steps from allowing the dough to refrigerate overnight, to covering in chocolate, allowing the chocolate to dry, flipping over and covering the other side in chocolate, allowing that side to dry, etc. However, if you have the time, patience, and 3 of the same-sized baking sheets on hand, definitely give these cookies a try. You will love them because they’re not only delicious, but also very pretty too! You will be sure to wow your family and friends with these.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 12 ounces almond paste
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups raspberry jam
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and line 3 15 x 10″ baking pans with parchment paper and grease parchment.
- In a stand mixer with a wire whisk attachment, beat egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar, and cream of tartar until stiff, 2-3 minutes.
- In a stand mixer, cream butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and almond extract.
- Break up almond paste into little pieces and add to the mix until blended.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt and add to mix.
- With wire whisk attachment, fold in egg whites.
- Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to one batch and 2-3 drops of red coloring to another. Leave one batch of dough natural color.
- Evenly spread dough into each baking sheet. (To spread easier, wet knife occasionally and note that each layer will be thin.)
- Back each dough for 15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
- Cool completely.
- Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper and place green layer down first. Spread 1 cup of jam evenly over.
- Place yellow layer of cake on top of jam and spread 1 cup of jam evenly over top.
- Place the pink layer over the top of the jam and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place a cutting board on top to weigh it down and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and spread thinly over the red layer. Allow to sit until dry.
- Flip cake over onto parchment and melt 1 cup of chocolate chips. Spread evenly over green cake and allow to set until dry.
- Using a serrated knife, trim edges and cut into 1″ squares.
Yield: About 80 cookies