These beautiful bars feature three colorful cake-like layers, an apricot filling and a chocolate topping. —Reva Becker, Farmington Hills, Michigan
- 1/2 cup almond paste
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 drops green food coloring
- 4 drops red food coloring
- 2/3 cup apricot preserves
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Grease the bottoms of three 8-in. square baking dishes. Line with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
- Place almond paste in a large bowl; break up with a fork. Add the butter, sugar, egg yolks and extract; beat until smooth and fluffy. Stir in flour and salt. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir a fourth of the whites into the dough, then fold in the remaining whites (dough will be stiff).
- Divide dough evenly into three portions, about 2/3 cup each. Tint one portion green and one portion pink; leave the remaining portion white. Spread each portion into a prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately invert onto wire racks; remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack on top and turn over. Cool completely.
- Place green layer on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread evenly with 1/3 cup apricot preserves. Top with white layer and spread with remaining preserves. Top with pink layer. Bring plastic over layers. Slide onto a baking sheet and set a cutting board on top to compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate. Remove cutting board and unwrap dessert. Spread melted chocolate over top; let stand until set. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut into 2-in. x 5/8-in. bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2 dozen.
Originally published as Almond Venetian Dessert in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p93
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