Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Chicken and Venetian Cookies

Yes, you heard me chicken, NOT blackened chicken!  Black skinned chickens, also known as Silkie chickens are very popular in Asian cooking but many people are turned off by their black skin and grayish flesh.  I have been intrigued since I watched an episode of Chopped in which these chickens were part of the basket.  After that it seemed I saw black chicken recipes everywhere.  My friend Kim is always up for a culinary experience and had me over last night for this yummy treat!  She found a recipe on Cooking Channel for Grilled Black Chicken in Galangal: Fabulous recipe I would recommend to anyone!  Though the color is a little odd, there is nothing odd about the flavor.  It does not taste gamy at all, really it is just a very lean, deep-flavored chicken.  Cliche but, "Tastes Like Chicken"! Sorry I didn't post pictures, all of mine were taken with my phone and way to blurry but this is a baking blog anyways so we are going to concentrate on the dessert of the evening.

While the chicken was marinating, Kim thought it would be fun to make Venetian Cookies. Sounds great to me, I am always on board when someone wants to bake with me!  Funny thing is, neither of us has ever made or tasted Venetian Cookies.  It was a night of experiments for sure!  The recipe she found came from and was super easy! You simply make an almond paste flavored cookie dough which you divide into three bowls and color two of the doughs different colors.  My big tip is that when the recipe says to measure out the dough to divide it, you should do this!  I divided our dough by site and we had one very thin purple layer!   We left one of the doughs it's natural color, tinted one of them green and the other purple .  Bake each layer and then spread with apricot jam and stack.  This stacked layered bar of almond yummyness is then weighed down in the refrigerator overnight before you top it with chocolate and cut it into squares.  Another tip, stick the whole thing in the freezer for 10 minutes before you cut into squares, it will make it much easier to cut!  

Oh my....are these delicious!!  I had a little piece with breakfast this morning (I know, breakfast of champions!!) and the almond flavor comes through and is not overwhelmed by the rich, deep chocolate layer on top! Plus, they are really cute cookies with their colorful layers.  All I can say is "Thank You Kim" for turn turning me onto these yummy cookies!

Venetian Cookies

  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups apricot jam
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • Grease 3 - 13 x 9 inch pans. Line with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

  • Combine almond paste, sugar, butter, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt.

  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a wooden spoon, fold into the almond mixture.

  • Divide dough into 3 -1 1/2 cup portions. Add red coloring to one of the portions, and green to the another. Spread the batter in the 3 separate prepared pans (keeping the colors separate).

  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. (Each layer will be 1/4 inch thick). Remove cakes from pan immediately. Cool thoroughly.

  • Stack layers in a 9 x 13 inch pan, spreading apricot jam between layers (no jam on top layer). Place second 9 x 13 inch pan on top and weigh down with two 5 pound bags of sugar or flour. Refrigerate overnight.

  • Melt chocolate over hot water and spread over cake. Allow to set. Trim edges and cut into 1 inch squares.

Adapted from


  1. Oh, these cookies look amazing. And the colors are lovely, too!

  2. Thanks Red Shallot! I love the colors too and can't wait to try other colors next time I make them!


    Becky ;)