Seven Layer Cookies are made up of stacked almond cakes, apricot preserves and enveloped by two layers of chocolate coating. There’s nothing average about these cookies. Get ready to be wowed.
I had no intention of making two desserts that involve seven layers in a row. None whatsoever. And it didn’t really dawn on me that I had done so until I took a look at my pictures this week.
I hope you don’t mind. If there’s anything that can beat a regular cookie, it must be one that consists of seven layers.
Seven extremely delicious layers to be exact.
When I found out that these cookies are made up of cakes, I could hardly contain my excitement. Any day that I get to combine two desserts, i.e. cookies and cake into one, is a major win in my books.
I don’t know about you, but I am always so impressed when I see layer cakes and imagine the amount of work that must have gone into creating them. Which is precisely why I had never attempted anything in that arena.
Oh wait, there was that one time when I tried making checkerboard cookies with the help of my brother-in-law and failed miserably. It was around Christmas time, I had just married into the family and all I wanted to do was show off my housewife skills.
Almost six years later, I finally decided to redeem myself.
I’m not going to lie. Making these cookies does take a little bit of time, but most of it is inactive. Cooling the cakes and letting them rest for a couple of hours is what takes the longest.
Other than that, if you can bake a cake and spread frosting (or in this case apricot preserves and chocolate) on top, you’ve got this.
I should probably mention that these Neapolitan Cookies are a spin on traditional Italian Seven Layer Cookies, mostly known for its red, white and green layers. Because I have a thing for chocolate and Neapolitan yummies, I decided on this version.
You could totally leave out the cocoa powder for the chocolate cake batter and dye it green instead. Whatever floats your boat.
Let’s talk about taste. It all starts with a good hint of chocolate, followed by sensational almond goodness, coupled with a slightly sweet and tangy apricot fruitiness. These cookies are a true experience. So many good things combined into one bite. It’s amazing.
And just in case you are wondering, these cookies taste like actual cookies and not like mini layer cakes. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s true. I am pretty sure being very careful not to over bake the individual cakes is so important. It ensures the right consistency and makes for that soft baked cookie texture we all love so much.
In honor of my accidental seven-layer theme, I naturally had to devour seven of these in one sitting. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature and seperated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (7-oz) tube almond paste
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 27 drops red food coloring
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 (12-oz) jar apricot preserves, heated and strained
- 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with wax paper (making sure to leave an overhang) and spray with nonstick spray.
- 1. In your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until they barely hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until glossy stiff peaks form. Transfer egg whites to another bowl.
- 2. Switch to the paddle attachment and combine almond paste and 3/4 cup sugar. Add butter and cream together until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Next, add the separated 4 egg yolks and almond extract, beating until thoroughly combined. Finally, beat in flour and salt until just combined (being careful not to over mix.
- 3. Gently fold in half of the egg whites. Once worked into the dough, add second half.
- 4. Divide batter into 3 equal parts in separate bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and stir to combine. Add cocoa powder to another bowl and stir as well. Leave white batter as is.
- 5. Cover and chill chocolate batter. Cover white batter and set aside. Pour red batter into prepared pan and spread evenly (layer will be pretty thin). Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cake layer will be barely set, but a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes and then remove cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Line baking pan with another piece of wax paper and spray with nonstick spray. Pour and spread white cake batter evenly over the pan and place in the oven. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove chocolate batter from fridge and let come to room temperature. Remove pan from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat steps with chocolate batter.
- 6. Once cakes are completely cooled, invert red cake layer onto a large cutting board or baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spread half of the apricot preserves evenly over the cake. Top with white cake layer and spread remaining preserves evenly on top. Last but not least, add cooled chocolate layer and cover with clear wrap. Place a baking sheet on top (it serves as a weight) and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- 7. Remove layers from fridge. Trim edges, if desired. Melt half of the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, or with the help of a double boiler. Spread over the top of the chocolate layer and return to the fridge. Keep refrigerated for 15 minutes and then melt remaining chocolate. Invert layers to another wax paper-lined baking sheet and spread with chocolate. Return to the fridge and let rest for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Cut into desired-sized cookies.
- Cookies will keep up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.