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Venetian Rainbow Cookie Bars

Venetian Marzipan Rainbow Cookie Bars

Venetian Rainbow Cookie Bars Recipe (makes 12 bars, 18 cookies a bar, or 216 cookies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian Italian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 2 hours
Servings 216
Author Valerie Lugonja


  • 750 g almond paste (recipe below makes about 1380g))
  • 2 c butter , softened
  • 8 large eggs , separated
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 4 c sifted all-purpose flour (spooned in and leveled)
  • 1 t salt
  • 6-8 drops green food coloring , or to desired color
  • 8-10 drops red food coloring , or to desired color
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 200 g of 64% Valrhona Manjari callets , or whatever dark chocolate you choose

Ingredients for Marzipan (Almond Paste)

  • Ingredients for the Almond Paste (if making your own with the Thermomix):
  • 500 g slivered almonds
  • 500 g granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 t almond extract


Important Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease three 13 x 9 inch metal baking pans; line the bottom of each with parchment paper, letting it extend at 2 opposite ends, and butter the paper and the sides of the pans

Make the Marzipan (Almond Paste)

  1. Scale first 2 ingredients (500g almonds and 500g sugar) into the TM bowl; mill for one minute from 1-10 using the spatula to keep the mixture toward the blade
  2. Mill for one more minute on 8
  3. Remove mixture into a large bowl and add 2 cups of sugar and the 2 teaspoons of almond extract, stir
  4. Portion about 1/4 of the mixture back into the TM bowl; mill one minute 1-10 keeping sides of bowl near the blade
  5. Pour into different large bowl; repeat 3 times until completed and the first bowl is empty
  6. Portion 1/3 of the mixture back into the TM bowl; mill one minute 1-10 keeping sides of bowl near the blade (the machine and mixture will get warm near the end of the minute)
  7. Place back into first bowl: repeat 2 more times until entire mixture has become a paste (see photos: it will be crumbly, but is warm and moist and can be shaped into a ball)
  8. If necessary, repeat last step one more time until mixture can be formed into a ball

Instructions for the Venetian Marzipan Rainbow Cookie Bars:

  1. Mix butter in a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment on medium low speed just until smooth; add the prepared almond paste and sugar mixture in a slow steady stream, and beat until lightened in colour, about 3 minutes
  2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, beating well to combine; scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed
  3. Combine salt and flour and blend at low speed in three additions until just incorporated
  4. Beat egg whites in a clean mixing bowl with the whip attachment on medium speed until frothy; increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until firm peaks form
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture; fold in the remaining egg whites gently, in two more additions
  6. Divide dough into thirds (about 3 1/3 cups or 750g each) and place in separate bowls; stir green food coloring into one third and red food coloring into another until well blended, leaving one third plain
  7. Spread each dough separately into each pan, smoothing with an off set spatula; be sure the batter is evenly distributed, especially to the corners
  8. Bake each individually 12 - 13 minutes until the tops are firm to the touch and very slightly browned; stand on wire racks until cool enough to handle
  9. Invert each onto a rack pan and peel off the parchment

Instructions for Assembling the Venetian Marzipan Rainbow Cookie Bars:

  1. Have a large sheet of plastic wrap placed on a cookie sheet; place this over the green layer, and invert the green layer onto the plastic wrap top side down (flip it as quickly as possible)
  2. Using 4 tablespoons of raspberry preserve and an offset spatula, spread the surface evenly with a thin layer of the jam
  3. The second layer is harder to place, as it cannot be flipped into an empty pan: place the plain layer, top side down, on top of the raspberry jam by angling it over the green layer, and then quickly flipping it out over it
  4. Align the two layers, and press them together (it is not so easy to align these once flipped, so do as well as you can the first time placing the layer)
  5. Using 4 tablespoons of raspberry preserve and an offset spatula, spread the surface evenly with a thin layer of the jam
  6. This is the hardest step as the pink layer is to be placed top side up, on top of raspberry preserves; to do this, invert into an empty pan lined with paper
  7. This layer is not sticking to the parchment, as it is now loose on an empty pan so it can break easily when flipped as there is no paper holding it together in the back; therefore, either freeze it for 2 hours to provide extra stability before flipping, or be sure to firmly secure the bottom tray with a wet cloth to the counter and be very deft with your flipping this layer out of the pan and onto the other two layers
  8. Be sure to align the three layers, then press them together, again
  9. Wrap this layered stack tightly with plastic wrap, sealing the ends securely; place it on a clean cookie sheet, and place another cookie sheet on top of it and weigh it down with several cookbooks or bricks to compress the layers
  10. Let this rest at room temperature for at least 24 hours, turning it over once or twice during the weighting period

Instructions for Glazing the Layers of the Venetian Marzipan Rainbow Cookie Bars:

  1. Unwrap the stack, and set it on a cutting board
  2. Trim 1/4inch from all sides using a large serrated knife; cut the stack into 12 equal strips each measuring about 1 1/4 inches wide
  3. Separate the strips and place them over a large wire rack set over a cookie sheet
  4. Place the apricot preserves and 4 tablespoons of water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, then simmer for one minute; pass through a fine strainer into a bowl and discard the pulp
  5. Brush a thin layer of the warm glaze on all sides of each strip; let stand for 30 to 60 minutes to "dry"

Instructions for Coating the Venetian Marzipan Rainbow Cookie Bars:

  1. Place the chocolate in a double boiler over an inch or two of simmering water; melt it, watching carefully to insure it does not get too hot, or place it in the Thermomix and melt for 5 minutes at 37ºC at speed 1
  2. Remove when almost melted, and sit to finish melting; when coating, if it becomes too thick, reheat it carefully
  3. Set all of the bars on a wire rack over parchment paper
  4. Cover one bar at a time spooning chocolate down the length of the strip, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate over the top and down the sides, taking care to smooth all surfaces
  5. Leave the bar on a wire rack over parchment to set at room temperature until the coating hardens; this can take several hours
  6. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, and freeze. When serving, cut into 5/8th inch slices; there will be 18 cookies per bar, not including the ends

Recipe Notes

If making the marzipan (almond paste) for the above recipe, do not add any more sugar; proceed with the recipe as if the 2 cups required in the recipe have already been added to the paste, as they have if you use the almond paste recipe link
Making your own almond paste for this recipe knocks it out of the ball park. No other recipe can compare. Seriously.