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7-Layer Cookies

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Today is the last day of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, so I wanted to go out with a bang with these 7-layer cookies that you may have noticed on my cookie tray from the cookie exchange last week. Being largely composed of almond paste and flavoring however, this presented a bit of a challenge as I am allergic to peanuts/nuts and so are almond paste’s many popular substitutes, such as marzipan. As I was brainstorming one day, my good friend Amber sent me a few recipes to try, and one of them was for coconut marzipan. I took the idea a step further to make my own coconut paste for using in place of the almond paste in this recipe, and then I simply substituted vanilla extract for the almond extract. The cookies came out perfect in texture and lightly sweet in flavor as I imagine their almond counterparts would be. I hope you enjoy the cookies, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies this year! Many thanks to Brenda of Meal Planning Magic for organizing such a fun group. Happy Christmas cookie baking!

Adapted from here.

For the coconut paste:

To make the coconut paste, whisk together the powdered sugar and coconut. Pour the mixture into a food processor, and process until smooth. Add in the egg yolk and lemon juice, and pulse just until the mixture comes together.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9″ baking pan lightly with cooking spray, and then line the bottom with wax paper. Leave at least an inch excess on both ends. Spray the paper lightly with cooking spray as well.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar gradually until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

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Beat in the coconut paste and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well-combined. Add in the butter; beat until pale and fluffy.

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Beat in the yolks and extract.

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Reduce the speed, and gradually beat in the flour mixture.

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Gently fold in the egg whites half at a time.

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Divide the batter into three bowls. Stir the red food coloring into one and the green into another, leaving the third batch uncolored.

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Pour the red batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until set. Do not over-bake. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Prepare the pan as before, and repeat the process with the green and uncolored batters. When all of the layers are cool, invert the green layer on to a wax paper-lined baking sheet.

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Spread with half of the preserves. Invert the white layer on top, and spread with the remaining preserves.

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Invert the red layer on top of the white layer.

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Cover with plastic wrap and the baking pan to have some weight on them, and chill at least 8 hours.

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When the layers are finished chilling, bring them to room temperature. Melt the chocolate until smooth, and then quickly spread half on top of the cookies. Chill about 15 minutes or until firm, and then invert the layers and repeat with the chocolate on the other side. Chill in the freezer about 20 minutes; this will make the cutting in the next step easier.

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Trim the edges and then cut the cookies lengthwise into five strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3/4″ wide cookies.

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Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

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Posted by on December 15, 2011.

Tags: , ,

Categories: desserts & sweets

25 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, these are beautiful!

    by Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

  2. I love these! Absolutely gorgeous

    by d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  3. They ARE beautiful and eye-catching! And I’m always amazed at your creative work-arounds such as the coconut paste.

    by Jenna on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  4. Those look amazing I can’t wait to try them. Your coconut paste brings to mind a lot of other things I want to try it in instead of almond paste. Thanks!

    by Judy on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

  5. Sounds great, I love nots but Hubby is allergic too, so this is something he might like.

    by sue on Dec 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

  6. I made these, for the first time, earlier in the month for the food blog cookie swap. They are such a fun and delicious cookie. A lot of work but so worth it in my opinion. Your version for those with allergies looks just as tasty!

    by Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook on Dec 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

  7. Those are beautiful as is the idea of using coconut instead of almond paste….such a frivolous looking cookie and allergy safe.

    by Angela Watts on Dec 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

  8. Always wanted to make these!

    by Blog is the New Black on Dec 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

  9. i have ALWAYS wondered how to make these!! love them!

    by Jessica @ How Sweet on Dec 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  10. Aww Tracy, I’m so glad the coconut paste worked out! My google-fu saved the day 🙂 haha no really, you saved the day with all the work that went into these gorgeous cookies. I wish I had some.

    by Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies on Dec 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm

  11. these are one of my favorites, but with nut allergies in the house, I haven’t tried making them in years, thanks for the new recipe

    by kate on Dec 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  12. What a beautiful cookie!

    by laurie on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

  13. Whenever I see these in stores I always think they’d be so neat to make – but so much work! I envy you for making them. And honestly, the thought of coconut marzipan sounds delicious!

    by Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  14. These have just been added to my Christmas cookie list. Amazing! I was wondering if they need to be refrigerated or kept in an airtight container at room temperature. I’ll probably be making them 1 or 2 days before handing them out. Thanks!

    by Erika on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  15. These cookies look so colorful! They must stand out on a cookie table 🙂 Have to try these someday.

    by Jen on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm

  16. Erika – They should keep well layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks. They also freeze well!

    by Tracy on Dec 17, 2011 at 1:19 am

  17. These are so freaking pretty! I love all the colours!!

    by Katrina on Dec 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

  18. I actually make these every year and have a few questions:

    1) What advice do you have on texturing the paste (I use almond in my case but I imagine you would have the same issue with coconut)? When I made them last year, I was breaking up the almond paste by hand but couldn’t get it fully broken down and incorporated – I kept feeling tiny lumps in my batter. Maybe a food processor?

    2) Any advice on cutting? I find that cutting is THE hardest part of the recipe – getting through the chocolate layers without the chocolate coming off. I also tend slice into strips before I add the chocolate and then I’m able to put chocolate on all 4 sides. might this be my problem? Too much chocolate?

    by Laura on Dec 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

  19. These are so pretty and incredibly festive!

    by Jamie | My Baking Addiction on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

  20. These are my favorite cookies of ALL TIME! I’ve only made them once, what a pain, but so worth it! 🙂 If you are ever craving them and don’t want to make them go to Leo’s in East Rochester! Delicious!

    by stephchows on Dec 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  21. Look how beautiful these are! Wonderful!

    by Erin @ Making Memories on Dec 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  22. These are so pretty, Tracy! Love that you made your own coconut paste, too. So fun!

    by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on Dec 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

  23. Laura – I didn’t have that problem with the coconut paste; it was very moist and smooth and easy to incorporate into the dough. I did however grind the coconut in the food processor first to break up some of the flakes.

    As far as the cutting, I found that chilling the layers in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before cutting helped a lot. I still had some chocolate breakage, but nothing that wasn’t easy to fix. Hope that helps!

    by Tracy on Dec 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  24. For the chocolate layer, add some cream and butter to the chocolate so it is more like a ganache and it will cut super easy! No chocolate breakage at all as it is softer and takes a nice hot knife wonderfully. Lovely recipe – very impressed with the ingenuity!!

    by Melanee on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

  25. Thanks Melanee, I will definitely try that next time! 🙂

    by Tracy on Dec 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →