Daring Bakers 11-12: celebration cookies

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Cookie season is up! Though pretty hard to believe, we have reached the end of November. And this challenge marked the start of my holiday baking. We were asked to bake from a list of 12 cookies, and I chose seven layers because they are so cute!

Seven layer cookies, not to be mistaken with seven layer bars, are made by layering almond cake with apricot jam and chocolate. Their colors are inspired by the Italian flag, so they’re already Christmassy, but I chose to make 2 red layers instead. I thought they were a bit classier, and also looked like mini red velvet cakes :) (with a bit of cocoa and all). I also covered the tops with royal icing, aka vehicle for sprinkles.

Coconut paste

I must confess though, these cookies are almond free. I did want to taste the original flavor, but with a broken food processor and no almond paste (or almond meal) in hand, it was out of the question. So, just like in the Battenberg challenge, I replaced almond and apricot with coconut and raspberry, using this recipe.

I may or may not have tested this layer with a fork

I used finely grated coconut, and I was afraid they would turn out a little dry, but they didn’t! They were yummy, with a little coconut taste and coconut texture. The bottom layer was made with pure candy coating and it cracked when cutting, but it was still a nice crunch. I almost left it out out of laziness, but then there wouldn’t have been seven layers!

Those silver jimmies are soo Christmassy, it’s not even funny!

Blog-checking lines: Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

Coconut seven layer cookies

Recipe by Sugarcrafter
Yield: 3 dozen small cookies
3.5 ounces coconut paste (recipe below)
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Red food coloring
1 tbsp cocoa
Coconut paste:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely grated coconut
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Raspberry jam
Chocolate or candy coating
Coconut flavored royal icing
1. To make the coconut paste, whisk together the powdered sugar and coconut. Add in the egg yolk and lemon juice and knead into a dough (you will have leftovers, which can be shaped into small cones and baked in a hot oven to make coquitos).
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 8×8″ baking pan lightly with cooking spray, and then line the bottom with wax paper. Spray the paper lightly with cooking spray as well.
3. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 of the sugar gradually until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
5. Beat the butter and the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the coconut paste and beat until well combined.
6. Beat in the yolks and extract.
7. Reduce the speed, and gradually beat in the sifted flour mixture.
8. Gently fold in the egg whites half at a time.
9. Divide the batter into 1/3 and 2/3. Stir the red food coloring and the sifted cocoa into the 2/3 portion.
10. Pour the white batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until set. Do not over-bake. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
11. Repeat the process twice with the red layers. Or, you can bake all the red batter on a 13×9″ pan, and the white batter on half of a 13×9″ pan (on two batches, or at the same time if you can fit them).
12. When all of the layers are cool, invert one of the red layers on to a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
13. Spread with raspberry jam until fully covered with a light layer. Invert the white layer on top, and spread more jam. Invert the last red layer on top of the white layer.
14. Cover with plastic wrap and a place a baking pan with weight over it, then chill for at least 8 hours.
15. When the layers are done chilling, melt the chocolate (about 5 oz), and then brush it on top of the cookies. Chill about 15 minutes or until firm, and then invert the layers and spread royal icing over the cookies (the consistency should be runny, so that it mostly spreads itself but keeps on top of the cookies). Decorate with sprinkles, and let the icing dry overnight.
16. Trim the edges and then cut the cookies into five strips (lengthwise if the layers are rectangular). Cut each strip crosswise into 3/4″ wide cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

25 thoughts on “Daring Bakers 11-12: celebration cookies

  1. Even if it wasn’t completely intended I think it’s a creative and flavorful variation. Also great colour and neat, straight layers. Well done!

  2. Your cookies look just beautiful! I think the coconut option is actually a great sub for someone who has a nut allergy. I think I will be giving these a try very soon. Nicely done!

  3. Oh my gosh, I am pinning these. The reason I didn’t do the seven layer cookies is because my son is allergic to nuts – but now I can try them!! And yours look gorgeous!!

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