Venetians, Italian Flag Cookies, Seven-Layer Cookies and Rainbow Cookies. These are the names given to a jewel-like cookie that hails from Italy and is typically baked during the Christmas season.
They are sometimes called Venetians, because their colourful layers bring to mind the luminous stained glass of Venice and Murano. Tint the marzipan layers green and red (with one remaining white) and TaDah - you have the Italian flag, hence Italian Flag Cookies. Count the layers, including jam and chocolate, and you have seven layers. Rainbow Cookies - well that's too obvious! Personally, I like to call them Venetians, because they evoke the grandeur and wealth of Venice, a brilliant diamond on the Adriatic Sea.
The basis of this cookie is almond paste. It produces a dough that is thick and very moist. Although a little time consuming, you will be gifted with little gems that will steal the show in any cookie gift box or tray. Fortunately, it won't take you as long to make them as it would stained glass!
I found this recipe years ago in Gourmet magazine (December, 1999). I have made a couple of changes which simplifies the method a little. You will need three 13 x 9 inch metal baking pans, so I suggest you beg, borrow or steal from the neighbors' if you need to!
You will need:
7 ounces almond paste
1 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 drops green food coloring (or more to reach desired color)
5 drops red food coloring (or more to reach desired color)
2-3 drops yellow food coloring (or you can leave the batter untinted)
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam or smooth apricot jam (warm it then press through a sieve to remove lumps)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
This is how to make them:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 3 13x9 inch metal baking pans with spray oil. Place each pan on three pieces of waxed paper. Outline the bottom of the pans in pencil. Cut out the shapes and place waxed paper on the inside of the greased pans. Than, flip the waxed paper over in each pan, and voila, both sides of the waxed paper will be greased.
Trim the edges and slice