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homemade italian rainbow cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
8oz almond paste, grated (this is flexible–you can use between 6-10oz with same results)
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
Zest of one whole lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
green, blue, and yellow liquid food coloring
1 cup apricot preserves 
12oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9″ square baking pans with parchment paper. You can also just do one layer at a time if you don’t have multiple pans. 

Cream butter and sugar in the base of a mixer for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add almond paste, extract, and lemon, and beat for 2-3 more minutes. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, and mix into the wet ingredients until completely combined. Divide batter into three bowls.

Dye one bowl a bright shade of green by adding about 1 teaspoon of green food coloring.

Dye the second bowl a bright lime green by first dying it bright yellow then slowing mixing in a few drops of blue until you get the desired shade.

Dye the third bowl a pastel shade of green (about 1/2 teaspoon of color) then add a couple drops of blue to get the final shade.

Spread each bowl of batter into one of the prepared pans, then bake for about 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges are a bit golden and middle is set. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.

To assemble: lay the darkest shade of green down then top with 1/2 cup of apricot jam. Top with the medium shade, then add the rest of the jam. Top with the lime green layer. Wrap with plastic and cover with a heavy book or pan. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until melted, stirring until smooth. Pour over the layered cake and spread evenly. Let chill in the fridge for one hour, or until set. Cut into 1″ pieces and serve.

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