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Almond Venetian Dessert Recipe

Almond Venetian Dessert Recipe

These beautiful bars feature three colorful cake-like layers, an apricot filling and a chocolate topping. —Reva Becker, Farmington Hills, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling YIELD:27 servings


  • 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


  • 1. Grease the bottoms of three 8-in. square baking dishes. Line with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
  • 2. 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).
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.

Reviews for Almond Venetian Dessert

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Reviewed Nov. 23, 2013 Edited Nov. 25, 2013

"My first review of this recipe was not good. I had a great deal of trouble getting the dough in the pan. However, they came out beautiful and are very good. It looks like I'm going to need to find a way to handle the dough."

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2011

"All of the old reviews are gone! These are fabulous and almost everyone else said so, too. I thought they were too much work to make again, but after tasting them...OMG. Last year I doubled the recipe and made it using a 9x13 pan's lid. Same amount of work, more results to share!"

Reviewed Dec. 5, 2010

"I loved these, I made them last year and will make them again this year. I used homemade apricot jam and dark chocolate and I ate far too many of them, they were delicious."

Reviewed Feb. 1, 2010

"made this for Christmas goodie platter--everyone wanted more of them!! Pretty and delish!! Will make again for Valentines Day but use pink & red colors!! I also used almond filling instead of paste and made mine with raspberry preserves--YUM!!"

Reviewed Dec. 28, 2009

"Wow! As I was cutting these, I was thinking 'This is too much work'. get a lot if you cut into 1-in pieces and all of my neighbors thought these were the best thing on their goody plate. I used a 9-in pan and they were fine but it was probably more difficult to spread the batter."

Reviewed Dec. 23, 2009

"The cake layers are so thin ,my first batch got very brown on the bottom. I could have baked them in less time."

Reviewed Dec. 22, 2009

"I would definitely make these again. They were very easy to make. I made them for Christmas gifts, along with different variety of goodies. They were so colorful and out of this world taste. These are a must cookie to make for every Christmas."

Reviewed Dec. 21, 2009

"These are very pretty to look at. They are expensive to make and a great deal of work, but would not make again.  They don't taste as good as they look."

Reviewed Dec. 21, 2009

"These are wonderful!! We didn't put the chocolate on and they were great. I used 3 foil pans and made several batches. Make sure that you follow directions exact on removing them from the pan, if you don't flip them back over the second time, the top will stick to the cooling rack. My family gave these a 10."

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"This recipe is wonderful! Instead of cake pans I used three 9" X 13" jelly roll pans since I didn't have the cake pans. I used bettersweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli 60% cocoa butter) because we like the dark cholocate better than the semi-sweet. I also used just raspberry jam. The recipe is a little more work, but you get a lot of cookies out of one batch and they are so worth it!"

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"I'm going to try this for Christmas. It sounds delicious.

I do have a recipe for the almond paste I will be using
It calls for 1 lb blanced almonds, 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 egg whites and 1 tsp almond extract.
Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor. Add powdered sugar and blend in. Beat egg whites slightly then stir into almond mixture Add almond extract. Mix this thick mixture with hands. Knead to smooth out. Makes about 2 - 3 cups."

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"My mother made these for years at Christmas time. Our recipe is doubled and made in three 9x13 pans lined with parchment paper. We also use seedless red raspberry jam in between the layers - no need to strain the jam. We call them Neapolitans. It is a little labor intensive but worth it - they are so pretty on a cookie tray."

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"I make these every year for my cookie gift boxes. Yes, you can make them in 9X13 pans, and yes, almond filling is too gooey--must use almond paste. They are a bit more time-consuming than some cookies, but you don't have to make them all at once; they actually have to sit, weighted, overnight. I use an electric mixer to beat the apricot preserves so that they're smooth. This cookie is SO worth all of it!! My kids love eating the trimmed edges (we call them cookie scraps)!"

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"This dessert is delicious! I am wondering if anyone out there has made this using 13 X 9 pans. I need to made a good bit for a Christmas Party I am going to this year and don't have a lot of time. Does it need altered at all or can it just be doubled?"

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"Hi there! QueenSharon00, I would be interested in your recipe for homemade almond paste...sounds better than the storebought stuff...Thank you! Coffee"

Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"Have not had pleasure of making these yet, however, every recipe I make from TOH has phenomenal results. Am wondering if almond "filling" can be used in place of paste, or would dough turn out "gooey". Thank you for your thoughts."

Colleen in MN
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2009

"My mother-in-law made these delicious bars at Christmas every year and now my three grown daughters love when I have them on my cookie tray at the holidays. I strain my apricot preserves through a sieve and use the smooth apricot between the layers. I use a couple of large phone books to compress the layers while refrigerating. They do freeze very well in an airtight container."

Reviewed May. 31, 2009

"I remember these cookies from the pasteria's in Jersey. They taste fantastic (just as I remember them), made my own almond paste which I've been using for year in other cookies such as Pignoli and followed recipe exactly. They are going to look stunning with the array of cookies I'm making on my Italian Cookie Platter for my sons wedding reception. I also used a cutting board underneath and one on top and it meshed together beautifully in the refrigerator :-)"

Reviewed Nov. 3, 2008

"I used to think these were labor intensive as well. But with three pans to bake in and a decent food processor I find it goes by so quickly.

I've never used apricot filling, but have always used raspberry because it pairs SO beautifully with the chocolate. This year for a birthday gift I even tried some homemade blackberry jelly in the middle and it got rave reviews."

Reviewed Nov. 1, 2008

"This is my family's favorite Christmas cookie. They're a little labor intensive to make, but worth every minute of it. I typically make them a few weeks before Christmas and then store them in a tin in my refrigerator or freezer. They are much better after sitting for a while because the flavors really intensify. I bought three foil pans so that I could bake all of the layers at once. Overall, these are phenomenal. Use good quality preserves and be sure to put something on top to weight them down. This makes the layers stick together beautifully. Enjoy!"

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