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Thursday, December 16, 2010

How To Make Venetian Rainbow Cookies For The Holidays

The holidays would not be the same without the almond sponge cake pastries known as rainbows or  tricolors which first originated in Venice.  For starters, you'll need:

12 Large Eggs, Separated
2 3/4 Cups Sugar
24 Oz Almond Paste
8 Sticks Butter Softened
5 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Red Food Coloring
2 Tsp Green Food Coloring
16 Oz Orange Preserves ( Smuckers will do fine)
heated and strained
8 OZ Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Beat egg whites in electric mixer until they hold stiff peaks. Add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until whites hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks, the refrigerate. Beat together almond paste and remaining sugar in mixer. Add butter gradually and beat until mixture is fluffy , about 3 minutes. Add yolks and beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt and mix until combined. Fold in egg whites. Divide batter equally among 3 bowls; wearing gloves. (1) whisk red food coloring into one, and green into the other, leaving the third batch plain. Spread each batch separately and evenly, about 1/4" thick, onto 3 half-sheet  pans , each greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake until barely set, about 7 minutes. ( 2) When layers are cool, spread half the preserves onto the green layer. Invert plain layer over it and discard paper. Spread on remaining preserves , and invert red layer over it, discard paper. Wrap with plastic and top with a weighted baking pan. Refrigerate for several hours. Remove plastic and bring to room temperature. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, and (3) spread thinly on top layer. Chill in freezer briefly until firm. Cover with wax paper, place another baking sheet on top, then invert cake onto sheet pan and remove paper. Quickly spread remaining chocolate and return to freezer until firm. Trim edges, slice and serve.  

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