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.
- 7 ounces coconut paste (recipe below)
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10-12 drops red food coloring
- 10-12 drops green food coloring
- 1/2 cup peach or apricot preserves
- 7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
For the coconut paste:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
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.
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.
Beat in the coconut paste and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well-combined. Add in the butter; beat until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the yolks and extract.
Reduce the speed, and gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Gently fold in the egg whites half at a time.
Divide the batter into three bowls. Stir the red food coloring into one and the green into another, leaving the third batch uncolored.
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.
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.
Spread with half of the preserves. Invert the white layer on top, and spread with the remaining preserves.
Invert the red layer on top of the white layer.
Cover with plastic wrap and the baking pan to have some weight on them, and chill at least 8 hours.
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.
Trim the edges and then cut the cookies lengthwise into five strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3/4″ wide cookies.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.