Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Three Colour Bar Cookies with Apricot Preserves, Maltese Style


The recipe for Ma’s Three Colour Bar Cookies with Ganache would add a nice touch of colour to any cookie platter.
I was asked if they could be prepared with a different jam or preserves.
Of course… apricot preserves works well.

This recipe is a little different.

It is handy if your 9x13 inch pans are holding coffeecakes and you only have 8 inch square pans sitting on the shelf.

For goodness sake, don’t buy more pans!


Hints:

You can substitute chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate or milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips when making the chocolate icing.
For a mocha touch, add 2 or 3 Tablespoons strong coffee.
White chocolate also works well, too.

Mint chocolate can give a nice holiday touch, especially if you add a sprinkling of crushed candy canes.

Of course you can use raspberry jam, if you prefer.

If you’re preparing these cookies for a party that has a special colour theme you can use colouring to match, if you wish.
Or you could have just the middle stripe coloured.

These cookies freeze well.


                        Three Colour Bar Cookies with Apricot Preserves

Lined 3 8-inch square pans with wax paper and grease
Preheat oven to 350º F

In a medium bowl combine
3 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Separate, placing the yolks in a cup and  the whites in a medium mixer bowl.
6 large eggs 
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In a large mixer bowl place
1 3/4 Cups butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups sugar
Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Beat in
12 ounces almond paste, broken into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Beat in the eggs yolks.
Beat in flour mixture.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the butter / sugar mixture.

Pour one third of the batter into one prepared square pan.
Pour half of the remaining batter into the second prepared pan and add green food colouring (about 4 drops).
Pour the remaining batter into the third prepared pan and add red food colouring (about 5 drops).

Bake at 350º F for 20 minutes or until the edges are browned.
A toothpick inserted near the centre should come out clean.
Place the pan on a wire rack and cool.
Remove the white layer and green layer from their pans.

While the cookie batter is baking, place in a small pot
10 to 12 ounces apricot preserves 
Heat over low heat, stirring until the preserves are smooth.
While the preserves are still warm spread half of the apricot preserves on the red layer which is still in the pan.
Top with the white layer and spread the remaining apricot preserves on that layer.
Top with the green layer.
Remove the cake from the pan, wrap with plastic wrap and return it to the pan.
Place an 8 inch pan on top to weigh it down and put the cake in the refrigerator. 
Let set overnight.

Chocolate Layer

The next day place a small bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Place in the bowl
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator. 
Remove the cake from the pan, unwrap and place on a cutting board. 
Cut the cake into three equal pieces (about 8 x 2 1/2 inches each). 
Spread chocolate on the top of each layer. 
Cool and let dry. 
Slice into cookies. 

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