Seven Layer Cookies

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In our home, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without these pretty little layer cookies.  My grandmother has made them every Christmas since I can remember, and also on special occasions every so often.  I always called them Layer cookies growing up, but they can be called Seven Layer Cookies, Venetian Cookies or Rainbow Cookies.  They have great almond flavor and the dark chocolate adds a really nice contrast to the sweet jam filled cookie layers.  

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Prep

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You will Need:

4 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) can almond paste
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food coloring
25 drops green food coloring
6 drops yellow food coloring
6-oz apricot preserves, heated and strained
6-oz black raspberry preserves, heated and strained
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

Put oven rack in middle position and pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line bottom with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 ends, then butter paper.

Step 2: Beat Egg Whites

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Beat whites in mixer fitted with whisk attachment 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 and set aside

Step 3: Mix Almond Paste and Sugar

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Switch to paddle attachment for mixer, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes.

Step 4: Add Butter

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Add half the butter and mix well to remove any almond paste lumps.   Add remaining butter, and beat about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Step 5: Add Egg Yolks

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Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes.

Step 6: Add Dry Ingredients

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Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined.

Step 7: Fold In Egg Whites, First Addition

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Fold half of egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten.

Step 8: Fold In Egg Whites, Second addition

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Then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Step 9: Divide Batter for Layers

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Divide batter among 3 bowls; I like to use a scale for this to make sure the layers are nice and even.  
crizzo21 year ago
My entire family loved this
Next time I will
Try this with milk chocolate
And white I am sure it will be just as great !
Loved this recipe
Thank you !
I always wAnted to try this !
Ty for showing me how !
Dark chocolate is a hit!!!!
Made this yesterday
Only 3 pieces left
Out of 5 dozen


Jersey2012 years ago
Great recipe! I made these last week, it took a lot of time but was well worth it in the end.
WUVIE2 years ago
It has been almost a year since I last drooled over these works of art! I'm back, this time bearing five stars that I forgot to give you last time I was here. :-)
WUVIE3 years ago
Beautiful, and very well presented! Love it, love it, love it!
I love these cookies, and your photos are lovely! I've found that you can actually skip separating the eggs and whipping the whites separately; I've tried both ways more than once, and leaving the eggs whole (using the typical creaming method for other kinds of cookies) incorporates plenty of air and saves a lot of hassle. :)
Thanks for the tip!
sitearm3 years ago
@Heather Homemade; Hi! Sent your recipe to my (cooking) sister-in-law and daughter AND tweeted it. Cool! : ) Site
Heather Homemade (author)  sitearm3 years ago
Thanks so much for sharing! Glad you enjoyed the recipe and my site!
alexp2673 years ago
My dad and uncle always make these cookies for Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's always been a tradition of my family to have these for the holidays. We have them because of the colors (Red white and green for the Italian flag) They're good!
Piacenza3 years ago
I love these!! My grandparents used to bring a box of cookies from the Italian bakery in Brooklyn when they came out to see us and these were my favorite.

I can't wait to try them - thanks for making this instructable!
locojmo333 years ago
Awesome I got some of these as a Christmas present from a friend and they were amazing!
HollyMann3 years ago
They look amazing! I will make these sometime - thank you!
ehudwill3 years ago
These sound good and they are visually appealing. Great work.
canida3 years ago
Wow, these look amazing! And you take beautiful pictures. I'll have to try this.
you should make some and send them to me.
mikeasaurus3 years ago
mmm 7 layers of delicious!
This is such a beautiful, delicious cookie that I must try!