These have to be my favorite Italian Cookie. My aunt makes them all the time and they are so good. When I made them I was so happy that I could finally have it under my sleeve of accomplished recipes. They take some time to assemble but what you get is a moist cake like almond flavored cookie with apricot or raspberry preserves sandwiched between the layers, you can use apricot or raspberry or both. The Tricolori also stands for what we call the Italian Flag (The 3 Colors). But I've honestly food colored the cakes different colors for different occasions like Red, White (no coloring) and Blue for American Holidays. With the almond cake part you also get a smooth chocolate finish on top. Very beautiful and vibrant cookies!
butter at room temperature
all purpose flour, sifted
drops of green food coloring
drops of red food coloring
semi sweet chocolate
butter flavored shortening
1Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2Grease 3 8"x8" metal baking pans. After greasing, line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper, smoothing the paper down onto the pan. Grease the tops of the wax paper and then flour the pans. Put aside.
3In a large mixing bowl, Beat together on medium-high speed the Almond Paste, Sugar, Almond Extract and butter until well blended. (there might be some small lumps of Almond Paste remaining and that's fine). Reduce speed to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Reduce speed to low and then add the flour and salt slowly to the mixture until combined
4Take two small bowls and add 1 rounded cup of batter into each bowl. (there should be another rounded cup of batter still in the original mixing bowl.). Add 15 drops of red food color to one bowl,15 drops of green food color to another, and no drops of food coloring to the last. Stir each bowl until evenly blended with color.
5Spoon the plain colored batter into one pan. With metal spatula spread batter evenly (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Repeat with red batter in second pan and green batter in remaining pan. Bake until set and toothpick inserted in center of layers comes out clean. 10-12 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack about 1/2 hour. Cake should be cool to the touch. Run tip of knife around side of pans to loosen layers.
6Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface that will be able to fit in refrigerator. Take the red layer and flip over pan onto wax paper. Gently pull off the wax paper. Spread 1/3 cup of apricot preserves onto the red layer. Take the plain colored layer and remove from pan. Place it onto the red layer with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and then remove the wax paper.
7Spread remaining 1/3 cup of Apricot preserves onto the plain colored layer. Take the remaining green layer and remove from pan and place upon the plain colored layer again with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and remove the wax paper.
8In a 1 quart saucepan, heat chocolate and butter flavored crisco over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Spread melted chocolate mixture on top of the green layer evenly.
9Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour. (at this point, if you want, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving).
10To serve, with a large sharp knife, trim about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cut the stacked layers into 6 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. You will get 36 square cookies from this.
11Place the cookies in a single layer in a waxed paper lined container. They can be refrigerated for up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. These cookies must be kept in the fridge.