Gifts in a Jar
Venetians (Rainbow Cookies)
1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops green food coloring
8 drops red food coloring
1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
2 squares semisweet chocolate
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 13 x 9-inch baking pans; line with wax paper, grease again.
Break up almond paste in a large bowl with a fork.
Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Beat in flour and salt. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
With a wooden spoon, fold into almond mixture, blending well.
Remove 1 1/2 cups batter and spread evenly into a prepared pan.
Remove another 1 1/2 cups batter and add the green food coloring.
Spread evenly into second prepared pan.
Add red food coloring to remaining 1 1/2 cups batter and spread in third pan.
Bake for 15 minutes or just until edges are golden brown. (Cakes will be 1/4 -inch thick).
Remove cakes from pans immediately onto large wire racks. Cool thoroughly.
Place green layer on jellyroll pan. Heat apricot preserves; strain.
Spread 1/2 of the warm preserves over green layer to edges.
Slide yellow layer on top.
Spread with remaining apricot preserves.
Slide pink layer, right side up, onto yellow layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Weight down with large wooden cutting board or heavy plate and place in refrigerator overnight.
Melt chocolate over hot water in a small cup.
Spread to edges of cake; let dry 30 minutes. (Using too much chocolate will cause the tops of the cookies to crack when cut.)
Trim edges off cake and cut into 1-inch squares.
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