lovely almond-flavored beauties are adapted from a Smitten
Kitchen recipe by the creator of 20 Something Cupcakes, Sarah Schiear. Sarah’s
blog is geared toward twentysomethings and is written in an approachable,
conversational tone. No, it’s not just cupcakes, and no, it’s not just for twentysomethings. Everyone will find a new recipe they’re excited to try on
Sarah’s site. While these Italian treats are traditionally made with apricot
jam, this recipe uses raspberry to complement the chocolate and almond flavor profile.
We think these cookies would be perfect for an Olympic celebration: Instead of
green food coloring, swap out for blue and you’ll have the most festive American flag
cookies on your block.
Recipe Notes: Sarah does recommend freezing the bars at
least 8 hours before slicing them, so plan accordingly.
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted
butter, softened, and 2 tablespoons for the pan
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food coloring
25 drops green food coloring
13-ounce jar raspberry preserves,
heated and strained (you can also use apricot)
7 ounces good bittersweet chocolate,
Equipment: Parchment or wax paper, small
offset spatula,13x9-inch baking pan.
1. Put oven rack in middle position and
preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan and line bottom with
wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two ends.
2. In a standing mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment, beat eggs at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff
peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed until whites
hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks. Transfer to another bowl.
3. Switch your mixer attachment to the
paddle attachment, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar
until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy,
about 3 minutes. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well,
about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until
4. Fold half of egg white mixture into
almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
5. Divide batter among 3 bowls. Stir red
food coloring into one and green food coloring into another, leaving the third
batch plain. Set white batter aside. Chill green batter, covered.
5. Pour red batter into prepared pan and
spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Bake
red layer 7 to 9 minutes, until just set. (It is important to undercook.
They’ll look like they’re not done, but a tester does come out clean.)
6. Using paper overhang, transfer layer
to a rack to cool. Wipe pan of any red residue, but don’t wipe away the excess
butter, and line again with parchment or wax paper. Bake white layer in
prepared pan until just set. As white layer bakes, bring green batter to room
temperature. Transfer white layer to a rack. Prepare pan as above, then bake
green layer in same manner as before. Transfer to a rack to cool.
7. When all layers are cool, invert green
onto a parchment or wax-paper-lined large baking sheet. Discard paper from layer
and spread with half of preserves. Invert white on top of green layer,
discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert red layer on top of
white layer and discard wax or parchment paper.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and weight
with a baking pan or sheet. Chill at least 8 hours.
9. Remove weight and plastic wrap. Bring
layers to room temperature. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl
set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove
from heat. Keep chocolate over water. (Or, you can melt 3.5 ounces of chocolate
at a time like I did, to ensure both layers of chocolate are exactly even.)
10. Quickly spread half of chocolate in a
thin layer on top of cake. Chill, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 15
minutes. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and place another baking sheet
on top, then invert cake onto sheet and remove paper. Quickly spread with
11. Either freeze for several hours, or
allow cookies to come to room temperature before cutting. Place a sharp chef’s
knife under running hot water and then dry it. First trim the edges. Cut
lengthwise into 4 or 5 strips, depending on how big you want them. Cut strips
crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide cookies, continuing to heat and dry the knife as
necessary. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, layered between
sheets of wax paper or parchment, for up to 2 weeks. Or, freeze them for even