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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Cookies - Venetians

The second Italian cookie recipe I'd like to share is for the ever popular Venetians, or 7-layers, or Rainbow cookies...whichever you want to call them. Up in Brooklyn in the Italian bakeries you can find these delicacies for a pretty steep price per pound. They are so worth it! Locally, here in Roanoke I've tasted three different place's version and although they looked nice they didn't taste too nice, actually not nice, seriously shitty. Yours might not come out looking professional, but if you follow the recipe below I guarantee you they will be better than anything you'll find locally, unless you live in New York City, but that's a given.

I'm not making them today, but hope to within the week...that is if I could find the Solo Almond Pastry filling in a can at the local supermarkets. For some reason the shelves at my local Kroger and Food Lion do not have a single can, and I can only pray that this product did not fall under the Elena Curse...you know about the curse...anything I like here in the south, disappears, leaves, goes out of business, etc. It's important to note that the recipe yesterday called for almond paste. This recipe calls for almond pastry filling. It's a different consistency from the paste and I find it makes a much better tasting and textured cookie. Let me know if you see any in your travels and also if you see any reasonably priced pine nuts. I'm itching to make pignoli cookies.

I'm posting this recipe now, before I make another batch and have a much better picture to show because I don't know if I'm going to find the Solo pastry filling and these take two days total to be ready.  You'll need a space in your fridge for the layers to set overnight under a weighted wooden cutting board or similar so I wanted to make sure you would be ready to undertake them in time for whenever you wanted to serve them. As usual, make sure to use butter, not margarine. Life is too short to substitute margarine for butter...

VENETIANS

Preheat oven to 350.

1 can (8 oz. almond pastry filling)
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) butter softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
10 drops green food color
8 drops red food color
1 jar (12 ounces) apricot preserves
2 1/2 squares semisweet chocolate

DIRECITONS

Coat three 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line with wax paper, allowing paper to come up at the short ends. Spray paper.

Break up almost pastry filling in a large bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat with electric mixer until light about fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in flour and sat.

Beat egg whites in a different bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into almond mixture until well blended.

Divid mixture into 3 equal portions. Add green food coloring to one, red to another, leave last yellow. Sparely spread each potion into prepared pans.

Bake in oven 350 for about 15:00 or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove the cakes from the pans using the waxed paper overhand.

Heat preserves in a small saucepan, strain through sieve. Place green cake layer on a jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet). Spread half of warm preserves over layer to edges. Slide yellow layer on top, spread with remaining apricot preserves. Slide pink layer, on top of yellow layer.

Cover with plastic wrap, weigh down with large wooden cutting board. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Melt chocolate in double boiler over water. (I do it in the microwave and it comes out fine, at 20 second intervals stir.) Trim edges off cake. Spread melted chocolate to edges of cake. Let dry about ten minutes until chocolate is hardened. Cut into 1 inch squares.

You know which ones they are



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