So, recently my impossibly lovely friend Tessa started the exciting journey of going vegan. It's one of the things she discusses on her brand spanking new blog, in addition to a whole host of other cool topics. So far she's loving it, and, needless to say, I'm pretty pumped. While most of the people in my life tolerate my veganism, and do so cheerfully enough, it's awesome to have someone to share the lifestyle with, especially because Saturday was her birthday, and for the first time ever it was significant that the cake I baked was vegan! At her request, I made an Italian rainbow cookie cake, and she wins award for Best. Idea. Ever.
Few things in life are better than almonds, and a cake made entirely out of chocolate-covered, multilayered almond cookie goodness?
While I was researching different rainbow cookie recipes to cobble together a vegan version, I didn't make any changes so it would be more cake-like. I really wanted the consistency of the classic cookie, making this recipe a twofer; make one layer (or one set of three layers, really), for cookies, and two (six) layers for a cake!
Venetian Rainbow Cookies/Cake
(1 dozen cookies or one layer of an 8 in. cake)
8 oz almond paste (NOT marzipan)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Earth Balance, soft
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer (you could also use three eggs' worth of flax seed and water, but I can't vouch for that method)
6 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup AP flour
Food coloring of your choice (classic combination is red, white, and green)
Apricot preserves as needed (1/2 to 1 cup)
Chocolate as needed
Preheat oven to 350F, and put parchment in three 8 inch pans (square or circle, up to you), and grease the parchment.
On medium speed, beat almond paste until broken up into small pieces, add 1/3 of the sugar and 1/3 of the softened butter, beating until the mixture blends together. Add rest of sugar and butter in one or two additions and beat until everything is mixed and there aren't big chunks of almond paste. Mix the Ener-G with the water and add to the almond paste mixture along with the extract, scraping down the sides and bottom. Sift the flour into the mix and beat until just blended. Separate into three equal amounts and color to your liking (classic combination is reddish pink, white, and green, but play around with it!)
Spread into three prepared pans and bake 12-16 minutes, til the sides are browned and middle is starting to firm.
Let cool in pans for 15 or 20 minutes and turn out. Once cool, assemble layers, spreading apricot preserves between them. Melt chocolate and spread over top, and even the sides if you'd like! If making cookies, cut into desired shape, if making a cake, repeat whole process and place second layer of cookies on top!
Then share with some beautiful people!