Sunday, April 18, 2010

Making Seven-Layer Cookies

I'm finally ready to post about the seven-layer cookies that I made for Easter two weeks ago.  I knew that it would be a challenge before I even started--the recipe said that from start to finish, the cookies take about twelve hours to make and I learned quickly that twelve hours was not an exaggeration!

I started with this post from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite websites.  The cookies looked absolutely delicious and growing up near tons of Italian bakeries, I have fond memories of these specific treats.  I wanted to make a new dessert for my Easter company and I knew that with the chefs in my family, I had to pull off something impressive.  In the end, the cookies were a hit, they looked similar to Smitten Kitchen's photos and I learned that I can be a great baker too if I take my time, read all the directions and stay calm.

I started off making the cakes, three thin almond-paste flavored layers each dyed a different color.  The batter is thicker than I expected and I had difficult spreading it on the parchment paper in the pan.  A had to help and hold the paper for me all three times.  Once the cakes were baked and cooled, the next step was to stack them after spreading strained warm apricot preserves between the layers.  The thin cakes were hard to flip over but we did it with minimal cracking.  Then, the cakes were weighted and put in the fridge for ten hours.  The next morning, I melted chocolate and smeared the top, then put it in the refrigerator to harden.  The cake was then flipped over and chocolate was spread on the other side.  After that hardened, it was FINALLY time to cut them up into the small rectangles that I remember. 

The perfect seven-layer cookies from Smitten Kitchen

My seven-layer cookies

Like I said earlier, I do think the results were great, much better than I expected.  However, they were not easy and I don't think that a busy Easter weekend is the best time for me to tackle a new, very involved recipe in the future.  In the end, I do think that these cookies earned a place in my baking repetoire.  And FYI, the colors are just as enchanting in real life as they are in the pictures--they were the perfect Easter-egg colors for the holiday!

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