Seven Layer Cookies


These cookies have long been a favorite of mine. My mom used to surprise us with these from the local grocery store after work sometimes, and they never lasted very long. A light cookie with a sweet almond flavor, my siblings and I used to fight over these goodies.

So when I saw the recipe a couple years ago, I knew I had to try them. These cookies, though a little time-consuming (bake & assemble, refrigerate for 8 hours, add chocolate, refrigerate again, and cut), are completely worth it. I’d had several people look at these cookies, teasing me for bring “store-bought” cookies to parties and dinners. That is always one of the greatest compliments!

If you can keep these cookies around long enough, they should last for 2 weeks in an airtight container, with parchment paper or wax paper between layers. Enjoy!

Seven Layer Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet, December 2005

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 (8-oz) can almond paste
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 c.) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 25 drops red food coloring
  • 25 drops green food coloring
  • 1 (12-oz) jar apricot preserves, heated and strained
  • 7 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

Make the Dough Layers:

Ensure rack is in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350°F.

Butter a 13×9 inch baking pan and line bottom with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends. Butter paper… If you have extra pans, you can prepare up to 3, which will speed up cooking later on.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (medium-high speed), beat egg whites until they “just hold” stiff peaks. Add 1/4 c. sugar a little at a time, until peaks are stiff and slightly gloss. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium-high speed, beat almond paste and remaining 3/4 c. sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes.

Add the 2 1/2 sticks of butter and continue beating for another 3 minutes, until mixture is pale and fluffy.

Add yolks and almond extract, beating until combined, 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt until just combined.

With a rubber spatula, fold half of the egg whites into the almond mixture. When combined, fold in remaining egg whites. Dough will feel heavier than you’d expect, and will be fairly sticky.

Divide batter evenly among 3 bowls (I find wide pasta bowls work best). Stir in red food coloring in one, green in another, and the final bowl leaving alone.

Pour batter from one bowl into prepared pan (covering and refrigerating remaining batters until ready to cook).  Spread evenly with an offset spatula or a butter knife (anything with a large flat surface). Layer will be only 1/4 inch thick.

Bake layer for 9-10 minutes, until barely set. Dough should be undercooked but not completely raw. It is very important not to cook the dough, or it won’t set properly.

Using the wax paper overhand, transfer to a cooling rack and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Prepare the pan again, and repeat with the remaining bowls of dough. (If cooking in 3 batches, take the last bowl of dough out of the fridge a little before baking to bring back to room temperature).

Assemble the Cookies:

When all layers are cool, line a large baking sheet with wax paper. In a pot, heat apricot preserves over medium-low heat, stirring until warmed and easily spreadable. (I find that I don’t use all the preserves, so I usually heat less than the whole amount and add more if necessary).

Invert green layer onto baking sheet, getting rid of wax paper that lined the bottom. Pour a bit of the apricot spread (maybe 1/3 the amount) over the green layer. Spread thinly, to the edges. There should be enough preserves to make the next layer of “cake” adhere. (I also remove any big chunks of apricot.)

Next, invert white layer on top of the green, discarding wax paper. Spread another 1/3 of the apricot preserves on top of white layer. Add red layer, discarding the wax paper.

Cover the “cake” with plastic wrap. Place Pyrex dish or a large baking pan on top of the “cake” and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Chocolate “Crust,” Cut & Enjoy:

Remove dish and plastic wrap and bring “cake” to room temperature.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Keep warm so the chocolate stays smooth.

Using a serrated knife, trim the edges of the “cake” (a wonderful little snack!).

Spread half of the chocolate over the top of the cake in a thin layer. Chill uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until chocolate is firm.

Cover another baking sheet with a sheet of wax paper. Invert cake onto new baking sheet. Spread remaining chocolate over cake and chill until firm, another 15 minutes or so.

Cut lengthwise into 4 strips, and then crosswise into 3/4 inch-wide cookies.

my awful, old photo from the original post. new photo posted April 2011

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors. 

Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors.

Did you know that April 14th is National Pecan Day? There’s a food holiday for everything, and you know what? Food bloggers love to celebrate them all. I’m particularly excited about today’s selection of recipes from my blogger friends. While I was excited to host, I ended up striking out with the first recipe I made for this event. And it was much more difficult for me to come up with a recipe I was excited about – I wanted to make a non-dessert. Didn’t happen, but I’m thrilled to see some of the more savory uses for pecan below. I can’t wait to try them, and make up my own for next year!

Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors.

These Pecan Pie Cookies were something I had made (and blogged) years ago. These cookies were a winner when I first made them (and the second and third time, shortly after the first). I thought these cookies would become one of my holiday favorites. But then I kind of forgot about them, and when I remembered them, I got sidetracked with trying out new recipes. National Pecan Day was a good excuse to make and enjoy the cookies again (and update the lousy photos that were originally published with this recipe).

And now on to the cookies… These Pecan Pie Cookies have the wonderful sweetness of pecan pie filling, but without all of the gooeyness that I don’t care for in traditional pecan pie. The cookies stay very soft for a few days and freeze amazingly well. So make them today, save them for Thanksgiving holidays, but just make them.

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Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors.

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Liz

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Cookie:

  • 1 c. brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 c. butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Ingredients for the Pecan Filling:

  • 1 c. chopped unsalted pecans
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar packed
  • 1/3. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

Make the Cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, beat at medium speed sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla until creamy. (It will take a few minutes for dough to come together.) 
  2. Lower speed and add in flour and baking powder, beating until combined.
  3. Chill for 1 hour, to prevent dough from spreading too much when baked. 

Make the Filling: 

  1. Just before removing dough from refrigerator, preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Then, combine all filling ingredients in a bowl, mixing well.

Assemble and Bake the Cookies: 

  1. Remove dough from fridge. Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls, placing the balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  2. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie, rotating your thumb to deepen and widen the indentation slightly.
  3. Fill each cookie - indentation with 1 teaspoon of filling. I made all the cookies at once (using parchment paper on the counter for those that didn't fit on my cookie sheet) so that if there was extra filling, I could spread it around.
  4. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until lightly browned.
  5. Let sit on cookie sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

Recipe Notes: 

          • These cookies freeze well. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers.

This recipe was adapted from Land o’ Lakes via Beantown Baker.

This post was updated in April 2018. 

Pecan Pie Cookies feature a sweet shortbread cookie topped with classic pecan pie flavors.

Mississippi Mudpie Cookies

For my wedding, a family friend gave me a lovely gift off my registry – a “cookie package” that included nice baking sheets & a cooling rack, a cookie press, a silicon baking mat, parchment paper, a silicon cookie spatula (which is awesome by the way!)… however, the hit of her gift was a cookie cookbook, Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies. This is the second recipe I’ve tried from there (the first being Peanut Butter Caramel Turtle Cookies) and bot got outstanding reviews. So thank you, LJ, for a wonderful gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

Southern Living did not disappoint me with Mississippi Mudpie Cookies – this new recipe was probably the biggest hits of the night. Soft and chewy, all were gone at the end of the night.

Mississippi Mudpie Cookies

Source: Southern Living, Aug. 2007

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 1 c. plus 2 Tbs. mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat semisweet chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave chocolate again for 15 seconds.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, beating until combined. Add vanilla and melted chocolate, beating until combined.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt to mixture, half a cup at a time.

Stir in pecans and milk chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, portion out batter onto prepared baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows onto each mound of dough.

Bake for 10-12 minute, until cookies are set. Allow to cool briefly on baking sheets before moving cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Amazing Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies - Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.

Let’s talk about Thanksgiving traditions, shall we? Are you Team Pumpkin or Team Pecan? Me? I grew up in a house on Team Cranberry. There was never a Pumpkin or Pecan Pie on the dessert table unless a guest brought it over. Instead, we gravitated toward wonderful fall cranberries, with a Cranberry Pear Tart always sitting in the center of our holiday table.

Alongside that tart were these cookies, which are so delicious that we enjoy them all year round. These Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies stand out from the typical oatmeal cookie, as the coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries create a sweeter cookie than the standard oatmeal cookie. And the best part? They freeze incredibly well (I actually prefer them a bit frozen) and are still soft and chewy after freezing. The trick is to hide them in the back of the freezer, behind the frozen vegetables, so that they don’t disappear when you’re not looking. 😉

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Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbs. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar packed
  • 1 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 1/2 oz. white chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c. pecan coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg, corn syrup, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer running, mix in all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and baking soda, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Using a sturdy spoon or spatula (I like my silicon spatula), stir in the bowl of coconut, white chocolate, cranberries, oatmeal, and pecans.
  6. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, portion out cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until edges are golden and top of the cookie is dry but still soft.
  8. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Recipe Notes:

  • Fine Cooking recommends you lightly toast the coconut flakes and pecan pieces. I never do — too lazy!
  • These cookies store well in the freezer for 2-3 months.

This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine No. 74, p.73 but is also found online here.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies - Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.

This post was updated in March 2018.

Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Dec 2009 Update: So very sorry to all my readers! A friend pointed out a typo in this recipe in the amount of flour used. The correct amount is 2 1/4 cups of flour!

Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Ocean Spray

Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies 003-1

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F and prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.

Cream together butter and confectioner’s sugar, until light and fluffy.

Gradually add flour, beating until combined. Dough will be a bit crumbly looking.Cranberry Shortbread Cookies 001-1

Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Gather dough into small balls, using a 1/8 measuring scoop for guidance. Roll dough together.

Put dough onto baking sheet and press down slightly.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies 002-1Bake for 14 minutes (less if you pressed the cookies fairly flat). Let sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool, as cookies will be very soft.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or an afternoon coffee.  🙂

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies 004-1