The colors of the season featured in this moist bars, which are layered with cherry and apricot preserves.—Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 drops green food coloring
- 1 to 2 drops red food coloring
- 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, patted dry
- 1/3 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
- 1/4 cup cherry preserves
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- Line a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
- Divide dough in thirds. Tint one portion green and one portion red; leave the remaining portion white. Add chocolate chips to green portion, cherries to red portion and coconut and rum extract to white portion. Spread one portion into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- Immediately invert onto a wire rack and remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack on top and turn over. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining portions, preparing pan each time.
- Place pink layer on a large piece of plastic wrap, about 30 in. long. Spread with cherry preserves. Top with white layer and spread with apricot preserves. Top with green layer. Bring plastic over layers. Slide onto a baking sheet and set a cutting board on top to compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.
- With a sharp knife, trim 1/4 in. from each edge. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.
Originally published as Neapolitan Bars in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2011, p117
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