Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rainbow Cookie Comfort

Readers, it's been one of those draining sort of days. Not like I've done anything physically exhausting, but my head is just tired. To get my mind off of things, I made rainbow cookies, a labor intensive but rewarding process. 
Mixer, I love you. 
For the majority of my life, these cookies were a treat that could be procured only when visiting relatives in New York. Sometimes, relatives would mail them or bring some when they visited, and those days were extra awesome. 

Okay, so once upon a time, my mom made a raffle basket for some school function. Oddly enough, she won her basket back. Thinking she would probably just give it to someone else as a gift, she put it aside for later. On a whim, she flipped through the cookie book from the basket, and lo and behold, stumbled across a recipe for "Italian Tricolors". Also know as Rainbow Cookies. So we kept the book. And lived happily ever after. 

The special ingredient in these cookies is almond paste, or I guess you could call it marzipan. It's kind of expensive, but it gives them their signature taste and moist, cake-y texture. It's worth it for a special occasion. They're supposed to look like the Italian flag but they're kinda just Christmasy. So the timing is perfect for you to make some. many cookies...know anyone who may want some? 

Rainbow Cookies

  • ounces almond paste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  •  3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
  • eggs
  • cup all-purpose flour, Sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 15 drops green food coloring
  • 15 drops red food coloring
  • 2/3 cup raspberry preserves (pressed through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. You can also use apricot, that's easier. You just want the end result to be smooth.)
  • ounces semisweet chocolate
  • teaspoon vegetable shortening

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease 3 8"x8" metal baking pans. After greasing, line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper, smoothing the paper down onto the pan. Grease the tops of the wax paper and then flour the pans. Put aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, Beat together on medium-high speed the Almond Paste, Sugar, Almond Extract and butter until well blended. (there might be some small lumps of Almond Paste remaining and that's fine.).
  4. Reduce speed to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Reduce speed to low and then add the flour and salt slowly to the mixture until combined.
  5. Take two small bowls and add 1 rounded cup of batter into each bowl. (there should be another rounded cup of batter still in the original mixing bowl.). Add 15 drops of red food color to one bowl and 15 drops of green food color to the other. Stir each bowl until evenly blended with color.
  6. Spoon the untinted batter into one pan. With the back of a spoon, spread batter evenly (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Repear with red batter in second pan and green batter in remaining pan.
  7. Bake until set and toothpick inserted in center of layers comes out clean. 10-12 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack about 1/2 hour. Cake should be cool to the touch.

    1. Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface that will be able to fit in refrigerator. Or garage if it's cold like it is here. Take the green layer and flip over pan onto wax paper. Gently pull off the wax paper. Spread 1/3 cup of raspberry preserves onto the green layer.

    2. Take the untinted layer and remove from pan. Place it onto the green layer with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and then remove the wax paper.Spread remaining 1/3 cup of Apricot preserves onto the untinted layer. Take the remaining red layer and remove from pan and place upon the white layer again with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and remove the wax paper.
    3. In a 1 quart saucepan (or uh, the microwave), heat chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted.Spread melted chocolate mixture on top of the red layer evenly. Do not put mixture on sides.
    4. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour. (at this point, if you want, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving).
    5. To serve, with a large sharp knife, trim about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cut the stacked layers into 6 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. You will get 36 square cookies from this. Keep in the fridge! 


  1. I hope you used mar-tz-ipan and not mars-ipan! =) Those look delicious. Will they be stale and/or gone by January 3rd?

    p.s. I made those Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies yesterday... they're diviiiiine (surprise). They turned out a little dry, just because our German oven is really sketchy and likes to leave swamps of marginally cooked batter in the middle of pans of baked goods, so I was overcautious and left them in too long, but they were still diviiiine! (My hypothesis is that they'd be even more divine just a smidgeon underbaked... next time, perhaps. Maybe I'll make some to bring back with me and share amongst you folks. Since I'll have so much extra space in my suitcase and all.)

  2. They ARE delicious! I think I'll make some more to bring back to school. I've been telling people the way you pronounce marzipan and they all think it's weird, haha.


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