Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tricolori, Italian Rainbow Cookies

Tricolori: "3 Colors" is what we call our Italian Flag representing the 3 colors in the flag hence these cookies are named after.  We Italians like to say that our colors represent much of what we believe, although through the years and history of the flag has changed many times before.  As of 1948, the actual staple flag that we use today represent:  Green: Hope, White: Faith and Red: Charity.

These have to be my favorite Italian Cookie. My aunt makes them all the time and they are so good. When I made them I was so happy that I could finally have it under my sleeve of accomplished recipes. They take some time to assemble but what you get is a moist cake like almond flavored cookie with apricot or raspberry preserves sandwiched between the layers, you can use apricot or raspberry or both. The Tricolori also stands for what we call the Italian Flag (The 3 Colors). But I've honestly food colored the cakes different colors for different occasions like Red, White (no coloring) and Blue for American Holidays. With the almond cake part you also get a smooth chocolate finish on top. Very beautiful and vibrant cookies!  These cookies are well worth the effort and are sure to wow you everytime!  (I have to say, since my kids are half Irish, I will take the red part and do half red drops and half yellow drops and dye that layer orange, making it the Irish Flag colors and they are perfect for Saint Patrick's Day!)

Here is the Irish Flag:

7 oz. Almond Paste
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
3/4 cups Butter at room temperature
3 eggs
1 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 Drops of GREEN food coloring
15 Drops of RED food coloring
2/3 cups Apricot Preserves
2/3 cups Raspberry Preserves
3 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 tsp Butter flavored shortening (non butter flavored is okay if you don't have any)

*If doing the Irish Flag, use 8 drops of Red and 8 drops of Yellow food coloring to create "Orange" in place of the "Red" layer.

**If doing the French Flag or Representing the USA Flag, replace Green food coloring drops with 15 drops of Blue food coloring to create Red, White & Blue layers replacing the green layer.

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 3 8"x8" metal baking pans. After greasing, line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper, smoothing the paper down onto the pan. Grease the tops of the wax paper and then flour the pans. Put aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, Beat together on medium-high speed the Almond Paste, Sugar, Almond Extract and butter until well blended. (there might be some small lumps of Almond Paste remaining and that's fine). Reduce speed to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Reduce speed to low and then add the flour and salt slowly to the mixture until combined.

4. Take two small bowls and add 1 rounded cup of batter into each bowl. (there should be another rounded cup of batter still in the original mixing bowl.). Add 15 drops of red food color to one bowl,15 drops of green food color to another, and no drops of food coloring to the last. Stir each bowl until evenly blended with color.

5. Spoon the plain colored batter into one pan. With metal spatula spread batter evenly (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Repeat with red batter in second pan and green batter in remaining pan. Bake until set and toothpick inserted in center of layers comes out clean. 10-12 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack about 1/2 hour. Cake should be cool to the touch. Run tip of knife around side of pans to loosen layers.

6. Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface that will be able to fit in refrigerator. Take the red layer and flip over pan onto wax paper. Gently pull off the wax paper. Spread 1/3 cup of apricot preserves onto the red layer. Take the plain colored layer and remove from pan. Place it onto the red layer with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and then remove the wax paper.

7. Spread remaining 1/3 cup of Apricot preserves onto the plain colored layer. Take the remaining green layer and remove from pan and place upon the plain colored layer again with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and remove the wax paper.

8. In a 1 quart saucepan, heat chocolate and butter flavored crisco over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Spread melted chocolate mixture on top of the green layer evenly.

9. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour. (at this point, if you want, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving).

10. To serve, with a large sharp knife, trim about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cut the stacked layers into 6 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. You will get 36 square cookies from this.

11. Place the cookies in a single layer in a waxed paper lined container. They can be refrigerated for up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. These cookies must be kept in the fridge.

(This would be great in any array of colors to represent many different occasions!)

Have Fun & Always Be Sweet!


Saint-Patrick Challenge

on Very Good Recipes

French Flag:  Blue, White and Red

United States Flag:
Red, White & Blue

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  1. Those are so beautiful! Thanks for the recipe...maybe one of these days I'll find time to actually bake them!

  2. Oh Thank You! They are well worth it. I will be posting step by step photos of the recipe process for everyone to see. You have to try them, they are awesome! Thank You for stopping by!

    God Bless,

  3. Ciao! sono bellissimi i tuoi cookies tricolori!! bravissima! Francy

  4. Could those be any prettier? Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  5. very cute!! Love the look and almond-based cookies are always delish!
    Good luck on challenge :))

    1. Thank You, unfortunately I didn't win although I was the most viewed recipe. Oh well, maybe some other time!

  6. Wow, these are beautiful! I can't believe the depth of color you've achieved. I think this will be a great recipe to try for Independence Day. Thanks so much for sharing.


  7. These are beautiful! I am featureing them this week on What Makes you Say Mmmmm!

    1. That is absolutely awesome! Thank you again for doing that!

  8. Replies
    1. You have to April! Let me know if you ever do!

  9. I make these cookies too but we substitute strawberry for the raspberry since I am allergic to them.

    1. That's great! Great thing you can swap out the jams for whatever and it still tastes great! Sorry your allergic to Raspberries! Ugh, I'd hate that!

    2. That's great! Great thing you can swap out the jams for whatever and it still tastes great! Sorry your allergic to Raspberries! Ugh, I'd hate that!