As promised, today I’m sharing another recipe that’s perfect for Easter. Since the 7-layer cookies I made for Christmas were such a huge success, I decided that I just had to “springify” them for our Easter celebration this year. Instead of the red and green layers, I went with a neapolitan theme that’s sure to elicit many oohs and ahhs from your guests. I also used white chocolate instead of dark on the top layer, since I thought the lighter flavor and color complimented the neapolitan look perfectly. I stuck with my favorite coconut paste to make the cookies since I am allergic to peanuts/nuts, but you can always substitute almond paste directly for the coconut paste in the recipe. I hope you enjoy these cookies, and I hope you have a very happy Easter!
- 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
- 3-4 drops red food coloring
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup peach or apricot preserves (I used rum peach butter, and it was perfect!)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1-2 drops red food coloring
For the coconut paste:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 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 cocoa powder into another, leaving the third batch uncolored.
Pour the pink 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 uncolored and chocolate batters. When all of the layers are cool, invert the pink layer on to a wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Spread with half of the preserves. Invert the uncolored layer on top, and spread with the remaining preserves.
Invert the chocolate layer on top of the white layer. Cover with plastic wrap and the baking pan to have some weight on them, and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours.
When the layers are finished chilling, bring them to room temperature. In separate bowls, melt the chocolates until smooth, and then stir 1-2 drops red food coloring into the white chocolate if desired. Quickly spread the dark chocolate on the bottom (chocolate) layer of the cookies. It doesn’t need to go right up to the edge, because you’ll be trimming the edges later.
Chill about 15 minutes or until firm, and then invert the layers and repeat with the white chocolate on the top layer. Chill in the refrigerator about 20 minutes; this will make the cutting in the next step easier.
Trim the sides to remove the rough edges. Eat the scraps for “testing purposes.”
Cut the cookies lengthwise into five strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3/4″ wide cookies.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.