I’m not going to lie, these cookies are a project, but they are so worth it. There is something really special when you combine the delicate almond sponge cake with raspberry jam, apricot jam and chocolate frosting. Plus, they look so gorgeous and festive that your guests will be in awe long after the party is over. While the recipe only takes 30 minutes of active time, including 10 minutes of cooking, be sure to allow 12 hours of inactive time to let them set properly.
Technical tip: Bake the cakes until they’re just set, otherwise you’ll end up with a dry, crumbly cookie.
Exchange option: Have fun with the food coloring; use any colors that tickle your fancy!
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray three-quarter leaf pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper and spray paper with another layer of spray.
Make the cookie-cake layers:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt until combined. Put aside.
With your fingers, gently massage and soften the marzipan, break it into small pieces and add it to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter and ¾ cup sugar and cream until light and fluffy, scraping sides occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, allowing each to combine completely before adding the next. Add the almond extract and toss to combine. Then add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.
In the bowl of a clean stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. With the machine running, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and whisk to medium peaks.
Add half the egg white to the batter and stir to combine. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Divide the dough into thirds (about 350 grams each) and place them in different bowls. In a bowl, add two to three drops of red food coloring and gently fold to combine. In the other bowl, add two or three drops of green food coloring and gently fold to combine.
Using a small offset spatula, spread the dough from each bowl into the prepared baking sheets. Wrap your thumb around the edge of each plate to create a well between the mold and the dough. Make sure the dough is evenly distributed.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until just set. The sponge cake should not take on any color. After removing the cakes from the oven, let stand 10 minutes before gently sliding the cakes onto cooling racks to let them cool completely.
Turn a quarter of a baking sheet over and cover with a sheet of baking paper. Place the green cake layer, bottom side up, on the parchment and evenly spread 1/2 cup of the apricot jam over the green cake layer.
Carefully place the colorless cake layer, bottom side up, evenly over the green layer. Spread raspberry jam evenly over second layer of cake.
Place the red cake layer, from bottom to top, evenly over the uncolored layer. Place a sheet of parchment on the cake, then cover with a few heavy books to press the layers of the cake together. The jams will act as a glue to make the layers of cake stick together. Refrigerate overnight.
After 12 hours, remove the weights from the cake layers and slide them onto a cutting board. Cut 1/4 inch off the sides of the cake to create sharp edges, then quarter the cake lengthwise and refrigerate again while preparing the chocolate frosting.
Make the chocolate icing:
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate, cream and corn syrup and mix. Microwave chocolate at 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals to form a thick frosting.
Place a length of cake on a cooling rack. Place 1/4 of the frosting on the cake strip. Using a small angled spatula, spread the icing on top, then smooth the sides and top.
Transfer to a cutting board and cut the strip into 3/4 inch cookies. Clean your knife in between to ensure clean lines. Then transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to harden them.
Repeat with the remaining strips and frosting. Refrigerate cookies until the ganache sets. When you’re ready to serve, bring the cookies to room temperature and enjoy!