Ever since I was a little girl Tri-Color Cookies were at the top of my favorites list. It’s funny though, until the other day I never thought to actually make them myself. I thought that they’d be a lot more difficult to make but other than being a bit time consuming there was nothing oh-too challenging and they really came together quite easily. My only difficulty or challenge came when it was time to cut the the cookies. I never did achieve a perfectly cut cookie but trust me when I say, my lack of cutting skills didn’t impact the taste one little bit. These cookies were perfect, just as I remember them from my childhood.
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
10 oz almond paste
1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food coloring
25 drops green food coloring
12 oz jar apricot preserves, pureed and heated
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 13x9-inch baking pans and line the bottoms with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each of the two long sides then butter paper.
With a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat whites at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time. Increase to high speed until whites hold stiff peaks and are slightly glossy. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
Switch to paddle attachment and then beat together the almond paste and remaining 3/4cup sugar until well blended. Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Fold half of egg white mixture into the almond mixture to lighten then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Divide batter evenly into 3 bowls. Stir red food coloring into one and green food coloring into another, leaving the third batch plain. Pour one bowl of batter into each prepared pan and spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick).
Bake 7 to 10 minutes until just set. The layers will be slightly undercooked looking but the tester will come out clean. Using paper overhang, transfer layers to a rack to cool.
When all layers are cool, invert red layer onto a large wax paper lined baking sheet. Discard paper from layer and spread with half of preserves. Invert white on top of red layer, discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert green layer on top of white layer and discard wax paper.
Cover with plastic wrap and then cover with a large baking pan and some weights (cans of tomatoes or what ever you have in your pantry.) Chill at least 8 hours.
Remove weights and plastic wrap and trim edges of assembled layers with a long serrated knife. Melt 4 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave and stir until smooth. Quickly spread the 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. Melt remaining 4 oz. of chocolate in the microwave and stir until smooth. Quickly spread the chocolate in a thin layer. Chill uncovered until firm, about 30 minutes.
With a serrated knife, cut lengthwise into five strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide cookies.