Ever since I saw this excellent and comprehensive tutorial on Smitten Kitchen, I had hope that these cookies were actually possible to make. They do take a long time but mostly because they have to be refrigerated for 8 hours at one point.
I followed Deb's instructions to the letter and I have to say they came out great. Moist and almond-ee.
Here are my variations:
1) I did not have almond paste, only marzipan (for an explanation on the difference, click here) so I made my own from this recipe.
2) Instead of the apricot preserves, I used my MIL's yellow plum compote she made from the yellow plums in our garden.
3) Instead of the Italian flag colors. I used Fall shades. I created the yellow, orange and brown shades by coloring the layers with Wilton gel food coloring in Golden Yellow, Orange and Brown.
4) I made little fondant leaves to decorate the tops of the cookies.
To make the leaves, I made a small amount of this recipe for marshmallow fondant. I then separated the fondant five ways and colored each with Wilton gel colors Golden Yellow, Brown, Orange, Burgundy and Green.
I pinched a bit off off each color and worked them together a bit, taking care not to mesh the mass into one uniform color.
Using a small rolling pin, I flattened it and cut out the leaf shapes using a tiny leaf cutter.
By making my own almond paste and adding the fondant decorations, I probably added at least another hour to preparing these cookies. However, if you have the time and "lust" as German's say, I believe they are worth the hours.
Hey we should be gaining an extra one soon anyway :-)