If there's ONE Christmas tradition my family could never do without, it's baking Christmas cookies. For years and years growing up, Grandma would make Italian tri-color cookies that we all looked forward to each year. Almond cookies filled with apricot and raspberry preserves and topped with delicious dark chocolate, they're the perfect holiday treat.
As time went on, though, she passed on the task to me. Sure, these cookies take a bit of time -- but they're a family tradition no Christmas celebration would be complete without.
Want to make these beautifully festive cookies for your holiday this year? Check out my grandmother's recipe for Italian tri-color cookies, here:
Italian tri-color almond cookies
8 ounces almond filling
1 1/2 cups margarine
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs separated
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces apricot preserves
4 ounces raspberry preserves
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate pieces
red and green food coloring
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 and line three 10 1/2 x 15 1/3 x 1'' pans with wax paper. Grease each pan.
2. In bowl, combine almond paste, margarine, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat with mixer until light and fluffy.
3. In another bowl, stir flour and salt. Blend into the above mixture.
4. In a third bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Then fold whites into mixture with a wooden spoon. Divide batter into three separate bowls. One bowl should use four drops of green coloring, another four drops of red, and the last leave as-is.
5. Bake separately until edges are golden brown -- about 12 minutes. Check frequently to make sure there is no burning. Then, remove from pans and cool thoroughly.
7. Heat preserves either in microwave or on stove. Then, spread raspberry on top of the green layer. Place the white later of cookie on top, then top with apricot preserves and final red layer. Wrap the cookies with plastic wrap, and chill overnight with a weight (we've always used a dictionary of some sort).
8. The next morning, melt chocolate and spread over top. Slice cookies and serve. Refrigerate in plastic to keep moist.
Do you have special holiday cookie recipes that have been passed down in your family?
Image via Emily Abbate