Rainbow Cookies

Rainbow Cookies are an almond-paste cookies with a chocolate glaze and moist interior.
Rainbow Cookies are an almond-paste cookies with a chocolate glaze and moist interior.

In my parent's region of Italy (Calabria) almond paste cookies are abundant, but rainbow cookies aren't found in southern Italy (and to the best of my knowledge the rest of Italy is also devoid of this moist and luscious cookie).  Rainbow cookies are an Italian American invention and most likely created to honor the color of the Italian flag.  However, It's the Italians on the peninsula who are missing out as rainbow cookies are a perfect example of cookie perfection given their tremendous flavor, bite size, great color, and wonderful texture.
Rainbow Cookies are an almond-paste cookies with a chocolate glaze and moist interior.
Rainbow Cookies are an almond-paste cookies with a chocolate glaze and moist interior.
My mother and her Calabrian and Sicilian friends make rainbow cookies every Christmas but be warned the following recipe requires the patience of a saint (however if you follow the instruction carefully they are straightforward to prepare and you can save the $30.00 or so dollars online retailers charge for them).
Rainbow Cookies
Rainbow Cookies
Serves: 36
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring,
  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce jars smooth (smooth variety) apricot jam
  • 1½ pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Start by Preheating the oven (350 degrees F). Butter and flour three 15-by-10-inch sheet pans (you'll also need to line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper).
  2. Combine the almond paste and all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until you have fine crumbles. Add the butter, not all at once, and pulse until mixed well. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until you get a smooth batter. Add salt and mix. Add flour (sifted), and mix until combined.
  3. Whisk egg whites in a seperate bowl until foamy. While whisking, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and whisk until peaks are formed. Fold about a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
  4. Divide batter evenly into three bowls. Leave one bowl plain (no coloring). Add red food coloring to one bowl and stir. Add green food coloring to last bowl and stir. Spread batter into each of the prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans to opposite racks, until cakes are cooked through and just beginning to brown (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  5. Remove from oven to wire racks and then remove from pans.
  6. Trim each of the layers to even out the thickness of the cakes. Put the green cake layer back, cut side up, into one of the lined pans. Spread one jar of jam over the cake (about 3/16 away from edge). Place the plain layer of cake on top of the jam. Spread the remaining jar of jam . Place the red layer on top of the jam, cut side up. Wrap the entire cake in plastic, and top with another pan, weighted with cans. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours (you can also do this overnight)
  7. Melt chocolate. Unwrap the cake, and place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour and spread the chocolate over the top the cake, using a spatula to guide the chocolate over cake (top and sides). Let the chicken harden at room temperature.
  8. With a serrated knife, cut the set and decorated layers into three dozen rectangles, using the outer sides to form perfectly cut rectangle


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