One cannot live on cupcakes alone, I can try, but sometimes I need to spice things up with a cookie or two! Between the end of December and beginning of January birthdays and the family Christmas party, I have been making a lot of cupcakes. I have more cupcakes coming up, but here is a cookie from the holiday baking spree.
Five years ago things were a lot different:
- I was living with my parents while student teaching
- I had never considered living in New York
- I was baking with boxed mixes :-(
- Finally, five years ago I had never even heard of a rainbow cookie!
I was first introduced to the rainbow cookie three years ago when my friend Dean wanted to make them for our little work Christmas Cookie Exchange. He is not much of a baker so I offered to “help.” I looked up a few recipes, bought the ingredients, and he came over and we made the cookies, they were awesomely delicious! Ever since then, I have made rainbow cookies for Christmas.
I love these cookies because they are moist, spongy, and almond-y with a bit of fruit and chocolate. Growing up I was never exposed to Italian desserts. My Italian coworkers approve of rainbow cookies and family enjoys them as well when I bring them back to Michigan!
Rainbow Cookies – adapted from allrecipes.com
Yield – a lot (I’ve never counted)
~ 10 oz almond pie filling – The can is 12.5 ounces, I don’t measure exactly, I just leave some in the bottom of the can
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tea. almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
squirt of red gel food coloring – I use Americolor Tulip Red
squirt of green gel food coloring – I use Americolor Leaf Green
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 table. butter
Preheat oven to 350 to °F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment add the almond pie filling and butter. Cream until well combined. Add in the sugar and beat again to combine. Add the eggs one at a time. Add in the almond extract and the flour. Mix on the slowest speed until just combined.
Spread 1/2 of the batter onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges turn slightly brown. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from the baking sheet, but leave on the parchment paper, and cool on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, divide the remaining batter between two bowls. Add a squirt of red to one and a squirt of green to the other. Mix the color into each and spread on separate sheet pans. Bake the red and green one at a time for 8-10 minutes and the let cool on their parchment paper.
Place the green layer on cooled baking sheet and spread with ¼ cup of raspberry jam. Gently place the yellow (uncolored) layer on top and remove its parchment paper. Spread the remaining jam on this layer. Carefully place the red layer on top. Place another cool cookie sheet on top and weigh down with several cans of food or other weight and place in the fridge over night or for several hours.
The next day, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Once melted, add the butter and stir to combine. Remove the stacked layers from the fridge and remove the parchment paper from the red layer. Pour half the chocolate on top and spread over the top with an offset spatula. Place back in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate sets. Carefully flip the whole thing over and repeat the chocolate layer on the green layer.
Once everything is set, use a large kitchen knife dipped in hot water (and dried) to cut the rainbow cookies into bite size pieces, approximately 96.