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Gifts in a Jar
1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 drops green food coloring
8 drops red food coloring
1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 13 x 9-inch baking pans; line with wax paper; grease paper.
Break up almond paste in bowl with fork.
Add butter, sugar, yolks and extract. Beat with mixer until fluffy, 5 minutes.
Beat in the flour and salt.
Beat whites in bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir into almond mixture with wooden spoon, using turning motion similar to folding.
Remove 1 1/2 cups batter; spread evenly into one of prepared pans.
Remove another 1 1/2 cups batter to small bowl; tint green with coloring. Spread into second pan.
Tint remaining 1 1/2 cups batter pink. Spread in remaining pan.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden; cake layers will each be 1/2 inch thick.
Immediately remove cakes from pans onto large wire racks.
Carefully peel off wax paper.
Place pink layer on upturned jellyroll pan.
Heat preserves; strain; reserve chunks in strainer for other uses.
Spread half of strained preserves over pink layer.
Top with yellow layer.
Spread with remaining preserves.
Cover with green layer, top side up.
Cover with plastic wrap. Weigh down with large wooden cutting board, heavy flat tray or large book.
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot water.
Trim cake edges even. Cut cake crosswise into 1-inch wide strips.
Frost pink layer of one strip with chocolate. Turn strip on side and frost green layer. Let chocolate dry.
Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Repeat with remaining strips.
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