City Eats Reservations

Tri Color Cookies

Tri-Color Cookie Recipe

December 28, 2010

Chef Isabella has a vivid memory about the making, eating and transporting of Christmas cookies as a child. “The only difference between tri-color and all the rest is that half of the [tri-colors] would be missing by the time I got to my aunt’s house, because they were my favorite and I would quietly eat them in the back of the car on our ride over there.”

Tri-color cookies are painted the colors of the Italian flag, which also happens to be Christmas colors. They’ll be on the dessert menu at Graffiato, but if you can’t wait for Spring, see Chef Isabella’s recipe below.

Mike Isabella's Tri-Color Cookies


An American Italian Holiday Cookie

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 10-12 minutes


8 ounces almond paste

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour

10 drops red food coloring

10 drops green food coloring

Apricot jam

Raspberry jam “seedless”

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9×13 baking pans with parchment paper.

2. In large bowl, break apart almond paste, and cream together with butter, sugar and egg yolks. When mixture is fluffy and smooth, stir in flour to form a dough. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the dough. Divide dough in 3 equal portions. Mix one portion with red food coloring, and one with green food coloring. Spread each portion into one of the baking pans.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

4. Place green layer onto a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all 3 layers. Spread with raspberry jam, and top with uncolored layer. Spread with apricot, and top with red layer. Transfer to baking sheet, and enclose with plastic wrap. Place a heavy pan or cutting board on top of wrapped layers to compress. Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

5. Remove plastic wrap. Top with melted chocolate chips, and refrigerate 1 hour. Slice into small squares.