Make these rich almond-flavored bars for a festive Christmas bar cookie.
Pack the cookies in Christmas tins and give as gifts to friends and family.
SERVINGS: Makes 4 dozen bar cookies
For best flavor, make the cookies up to 3 days before serving and store them covered in the refrigerator.
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tube or can (7 to 8 ounces) almond paste
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks/10 oz/283g) margarine or butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 20 drops red food coloring
- 20 drops green food coloring
- 5-10 drops yellow food coloring, for coloring the uncolored batter, (using yellow food coloring for the uncolored batter is optional)
- 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot or raspberry preserves, warmed, strained and cooled* (See Notes below)
- 4 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick/1 oz/28g) unsalted butter, (melted with chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Grease 3 (15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch) jelly-roll pans* (See Notes below) and line pans with waxed paper, allowing waxed paper to extend over ends of pans.
- Grease and flour waxed paper.
- In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form; set aside.
- In large bowl, with same beaters, and with mixer at medium speed, beat almond paste and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until well blended (there will be some small lumps of almond paste remaining).
- Reduce speed to medium-low; beat in margarine or butter until blended.
- Beat in egg yolks and almond extract until blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour and salt just until combined.
- With rubber spatula, fold egg-white mixture into almond mixture, one-third at a time, until combined.
- Remove one-third of batter (about 1 1/2 rounded cups) from large bowl to small bowl.
- Remove half of remaining batter from large bowl to another small bowl. (You should have equal amounts of batter in each bowl.)
- Stir red food coloring into 1 bowl of batter until evenly blended.
- Repeat with green food coloring and another bowl of batter. At this point you may add the yellow food coloring to the “uncolored batter” if desired, (this is optional).
- Spread uncolored or yellow, (if using yellow food coloring) batter in 1 jelly-roll pan.
- With metal spatula (offset, if possible), spread batter as evenly as possible (layer will be about 1/8 inch thick).
- Repeat with red batter and another pan. Repeat with green batter and remaining pan.
- Bake layers 10 to 13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking time, until layers are just set.
- It is important to under cook this batter slightly to ensure moist cookie layers. (If you don’t have enough oven space for 3 pans, you can bake 2 layers at once, then bake the last layer separately.)
- Let layers cool slightly in pans on wire racks, about 5 minutes. Invert layers onto racks, leaving waxed paper attached; cool completely.
- When all 3 layers are cooled, remove waxed paper from green layer.
- Place green layer on serving tray or platter; spread with half of apricot or raspberry preserves.
- Place white layer on top of green layer, waxed-paper side up; remove waxed paper.
- Spread with remaining apricot or raspberry preserves.
- Place red layer on top of white layer; remove waxed paper.
- With serrated knife, trim edges (about 1/4 inch from each side).
- Spread melted chocolate/butter mixture on top of red layer (not on sides); refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour.
- If you like, after chocolate has set, cover and refrigerate stacked layers up to 3 days before cutting and serving.
- To serve, cut stacked layers lengthwise into 4 strips.
- Cut each strip crosswise into 12 small rectangles.
- Store cookies in tightly covered container, with waxed paper between layers, in refrigerator.
Each cookie contains approximately 130 calories, 2 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated), 18 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium.
1) A good idea is to slightly warm the preserves in a medium saucepan on very low heat; then strain and cool preserves slightly before spreading.
This makes the preserves easier to spread over the layers.
2) If you have only 1 jelly-roll pan, you can still make this recipe.
Just bake layers 1 at a time, and be sure to let pan cool completely before reusing.
Source and picture DianaDesserts