Italian Flag Cookies

From the Kitchen of: Yolanda Caccamo Quackenbush

Ingredients:

* 8 Ounces of Almond Paste

* 1 1/2 Cups of Unsalted Butter at room temperature

* 4 Large Eggs

* 1 tsp. of Almond Extract

* 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour (I always use Gold Metal or King Arthur)

* 1/4 tsp. of Salt

* 1 Cup of Sugar

* 8 oz. of Apricot Preserves

* 8 oz. of Raspberry Preserves

* Green Food Coloring

* Red Food Coloring

* 12 Oz of Semi Sweet Melting Chocolate (I Mixed Dark and Milk)

Helpful Tools:

* Kitchen Aid Mixer

* 3 9x9 inch pans (I used 3- 9X13 inch pans and I felt they came out too thin.  I would recommend

3 9X9 inch Pans instead.

* Wax Paper

* A Strainer

Procedure:

* Pre-Heat oven to 350 Degrees

* Get 2 small bowls and separate the Egg White from the Egg Yolks

* Put the Egg Yolks aside and the Egg Whites into the Kitchen Aid Mixer with the Whipping Attachment.

* Start on Med Low speed for 2 minutes and then on high speed for about another 5 minutes, until the Egg White form Large Peaks.

* Once the Egg Whites have formed the large peaks, add 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix for about another minute.

* Set aside.

* Grab another Large Mixing Bowl and add the Paddle attachment to the Kitchen Aid Mixer

*  Add the Almond Paste and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar into the Bowl and mix until it is in Crumbs

* Add the Stick of Softened Butter and Almond Extract and Mix again.

* While the Mixer is running on Medium Speed, add the Egg Yolks one Egg at a time

* Turn the Mixer off and with a Spatula fold in the Egg Whites that you set aside earlier.

* Fold in the Flour, one cup at a time until well blended.

* Grab three Bowls (the size of a cereal bowl) and divide the batter into three equal parts (I think it was about 1 1/4 cups of batter in each bowl)

* Put 20 Drops of Green Food Coloring into the first bowl and mix well

* Leave the second bowl of batter as is

* Put 20 drops of Red Food Coloring into the third bowl and mix well (do not use the same spoon you used with the Green)

* Line the bottom and sides of the three Pans with Wax Paper

* With a Spoon, spread the Green Cake  Batter into the first pan, the plain color cake batter into the second pan, and the Red Color Batter into the third pan.

* Bake for about 10-12 Minutes

*When Done, let cool

* While the cakes are cooling, get the jams ready.

* In a small sauce pan, heat the Raspberry Preserves

* Strain the Preserves over a bowl by pressing it around with a spoon in a strainer. Set aside.

* Heat the Apricot Preserved in a small sauce pan and Strain the Preserves over a bowl by pressing it around with a spoon in a strainer. Set aside.

* Now we are ready to assemble the cookie!

* Carefully Flip the Red Layer Cake over onto a Wax Paper covered tray.

* Slowly take the wax paper off of the top of the cake

* Spread the Raspberry Preserved all over the top of the Red layer cake

* Carefully add the Plain color cake to the top of the Red Jam Layer, and carefully rip the Wax paper off the top.

* Spread the Apricot Preserves on the top of the Plain color cake.

*Add the Green Color Cake to the top of the Apricot Preserve layer and carefully rip the wax paper off the top.

*Put a new sheet of wax paper on the top and then cover it with a heavy object (I put a wooden cutting board on top) and put it in the fridge for about 4-8 hours.

* When the cake is done settling in the fridge, melt the chocolate.

* Spread the chocolate all over the top of the cake and then put it back in the fridge to harden for about 15-20 minutes.

* Once that layer of chocolate has hardened, carefully flip the cake over and Spread melted Chocolate over the other side of the cake.  Put back into the refrigerator to harden.

* When it is done hardening, place onto a cutting board trim all the sides of the cake (you can just munch on those scraps :))

* Cut the remaining cake into small squares or rectangles and Enjoy!