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Venetian Style Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Jam [Gluten-Free]

Dark chocolate, strawberry jam, and two layers of almond sponge cake make these Venetian Style Cookies a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day [Gluten Free]
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword almond, chocolate, cookies, strawberry, valentine
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 squares


  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces strawberry jam
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 x 13 inch cake pans with butter and line with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over each side for easy removal later.
  • Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolks together in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Break up the almond paste with your fingers, and add to the mixture, mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into wet mixture.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the batter until incorporated.
  • Split the batter in half, and spread it out between the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until slightly golden and cooked through. Do not hesitate to cook the sponge a little longer if it feels undercooked. Remove the finished cake from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Once room temperature, lift the sponge cakes from the pans using the parchment paper and place them on a clean surface. Spread the jam over the surface of one of the cakes in a thin, even layer. Lift and place the second cake over the first, sandwiching the jam in the center. Press gently.
  • Using a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set into a pot of water, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Using the same spatula, delicately spread the melted chocolate over the top of the sponge cake in a smooth, thin layer. To hide imperfections, you can trace ridges into the chocolate like I did in mine if you like.
  • Chill the entire layered “cake” in the fridge until the chocolate completely hardens (30 minutes to an hour).
  • Once the chocolate has set, place the whole cake onto a cutting board. Using a hot knife (as described below), first slice off the ugly edges, so that the sides will be cleanly visible. Snack on those remnants as you work. Then carefully slice the cookies into 2 x 2 inch squares.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper between layers. Cookies will keep 3 days at room temperature, and up to 7 days in the fridge.


Alternate Method – Swirling the Jam: If you don’t feel like messing with multiple layers, you can achieve delicious (although not quite as pretty) cookies an easier way with these alterations.
  • Only prepare one 9 x 13 pan lined with parchment, rather than two, in step one. Spread the finished batter out smoothly into this pan in step 5.
  • Before baking, spoon the jam in two straight lines down the center of the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the jam into the batter using looping motions through the jam. The jam should not fully incorporate with the batter, but instead just swirl through in lines.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until cooked through. - Let cool, and spread the chocolate layer over top as normal.
Use a Hot Knife: To avoid shattering the chocolate as you cut through the cookies, make sure your knife is hot. To achieve this, let the water in the double boiler used to melt the chocolate continue to heat, and hold the knife over the steam between cuts. Gently trace the cut you want to make with the tip of the knife through the chocolate layer, and then cut entirely through for a smooth side.