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Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Rainbow Cookies Recipe

I always bake these Rainbow Cookies two weeks ahead. That allows them enough time to "mellow," leaving them moist and full of almond flavor! —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min. + cooling YIELD:48 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 to 8 drops red food coloring
  • 6 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • 1. Grease the bottoms of three matching 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans (or reuse one pan). Line the pans with waxed paper; grease the paper.
  • 2. Place almond paste in a large bowl; break up with a fork. Cream with butter, sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy. Stir in flour. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into dough, mixing until thoroughly blended.
  • 3. Divide dough into three portions (about 1-1/3 cups each). Color one portion with red food coloring and one with green; leave the remaining portion uncolored. Spread each portion into the prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  • 4. Invert onto wire racks; remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack on top and turn over. Cool completely.
  • 5. Place green layer on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread evenly with raspberry jam. Top with uncolored layer and spread with apricot jam. Top with pink layer. Bring plastic wrap over layers. Slide onto a baking sheet and set a cutting board or heavy, flat pan on top to compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.
  • 6. The next day, melt chocolate in a microwave; stir until smooth. Spread over top layer; allow to harden. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut into 1/2-in. strips across the width; then cut each strip into 4-5 pieces. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 8 dozen.

Reviews for Rainbow Cookies

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MY REVIEW
catlovesbooks
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2015

"These are beautiful and have a great complex flavor! I will make these again!"

MY REVIEW
BonnieJane22
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2015

"I've been making these for over 10 years. My family loves them. They are made year around for my bunch, birthdays etc. I love them made according to the recipe no changes. use parchment paper it works well."

MY REVIEW
tinarm
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2015

"Made for Christmas...turned out perfect! Added a little more food coloring for richer color. Lined pans with parchment paper and used all apricot jam between layers, forgot to buy raspberry jam. They looked great on cookie tray."

MY REVIEW
ukianna
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2014

"a wonderful cookie, pain to make but so worth the trouble"

MY REVIEW
puffybloomers
Reviewed Feb. 26, 2014

"these are time consuming for sure but not your average run of the mill Christmas cookie. worth the extra work."

MY REVIEW
crayolabob
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2013

"These cookies remind me of my childhood in Brooklyn. We called them "funeral cookies" because people always brought them from the bakery when you sat shiva the week after someone died. I didn't even realize that they were Christmas colors until I was an adult. I found this recipe originally on Epicurious and have been making them during the holidays for 5 years now. Yes, they are time consuming and there are a lot of steps to follow but for me, it is worth it and everyone loves them. You also get a lot of cookies out of the recipe. They also look great. I don't know what is wrong with the photography here but if you add enough food coloring, you will get beautiful red, green and white cookies. I have brought them to cookie exchanges, and they are always a hit. Great idea from another reviewer about changing up the colors for other holidays. Although these are not cookies that you want to be making too many times a year, definitely special occasion cookies."

MY REVIEW
dianegaj
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013 Edited Jan. 21, 2014

"i made them they r good

is the almond paste in the can soft or hard .. cuz the one that I bought once before for cookies from bulk barn was hard and it didn't come in a can, I;m from Canada so I have to see if we have it here .."

MY REVIEW
JanisH.
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2013

"I have been making these cookies for many, many years and have passed the recipe on to relatives and friends and they have had success with the recipe. I did make some modifications to my original recipe that seem to make the recipe easier to work with and also make thicker layers. There was a point when all I could find were the 7 oz. tubes of almond paste, so if I bought two (enough to make the 8 ozs. needed), I would have 6 oz. left over. So, I decided to increase the recipe by half - 14 oz. almond paste, 1 1/2 cups of butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 eggs, 3 cups of sifted AP flour . I also fold the beaten egg whites into the almond paste/sugar/egg yolk mixture. I then add the flour, which makes it much easier to incorporate. I also just use the red raspberry jam so that I don't have two open jars of jam and preserves."

MY REVIEW
dunegirl11
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2013

"I HAVE LOVED THESE LITTLE LUSCIOUS COOKIES/CAKES ALL MY LIFE.MY DAUGHTER HAS INHERITED MY PASSION. WE LIVE NEAR NYC WHERE YOU CAN FIND THESE IN PRETTY MUCH ALL THE BAKEREYS,BUT THESE CHARGE BY THE POUOND WHICH TAKES A BIG HIT IN YOUR WALLET. THATS WHY I WAS SO HAPPY TO FIND THIS RECIPE AND IF YOU JUST FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS AND TAKE YOUR TIME THEY TURN OUT BEAUTIFULLY.SINCE THEY ARE ALITTLE MORE TIME CONSUMING TO MAKE I MAKE A TRIPLE BATCH AND FREESE THEM(THEY FREEZE BEAUTIFULLY IF YOU A AIRTIGHT CONTAINER AND FREEZER WRAP AND I USE A BIG FREEZER BAG TO TOP OFF THE PROCESS. I DON'T MESS AROUNDER WITH FROST,PLUS I HAVE A FROST FREE FREEZER WHICH REALLY HELPS. I DO THAT TO ALL MY BAKED ITEMS.HAPPY BAKING FRIENDS,AND USE THE BEST CHOCOLATE(NOT MILK CHOCOLATE FOR THE GLAZE :)"

MY REVIEW
happygal67
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2012

"Just made these cookies. My cake layers came out like very thin sheets of cake, not at all like the fluffy, cake-like layers

shown in the picture. I live at a high altitude of 5300 feet in Albuquerque, New Mexico and wonder if I should have made some type of adjustment for altitude? Any suggestions on what I could do differently next time? Many thanks for your ideas!"

MY REVIEW
N.Camp
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2012

"The texture is more like a dense sponge cake, or a softish biscotti. The taste is really good.

I seem to have issues with getting same amounts quoted. All I was able to cut was 54 (9x5). I guess I was worried the chocolate would crack if I cut it too thin.
I would've given it 5 stars if there were stars to give..."

MY REVIEW
KayKoehlmoos
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2012

"The recipe says to make 2 weeks ahead for the flavor to mellow. Should they be frozen during this time or not?"

MY REVIEW
staceyRN
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

"Easy to make- bakery quality. If you want to impress your friends- these will do the trick! Simply perfect!"

MY REVIEW
stxbohunk
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2012

"So totally NOT worth the time and effort!! The dough is a thick gloppy pasty mess that you can't spread out even so they are all lumpy and bumpy. Don't know how they did it in the picture, but that sure isn't what they look like for real!! MAYBE, they will taste better than they look!"

MY REVIEW
Ceege
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2012

"I have never tasted or seen this type of cookie. Would like to try them for Christmas cookie assortment. They look like a piece of cake. Will these work as a cookie? Thanks for help. BTW, there were no "stars" for me to click on."

MY REVIEW
macdad6876
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"These are my all-time favorite cookie. Those of you in the Northeast know that they are a staple at any Italian Bakery. They can be called rainbow cookies or 7-layer cookies. My Italian grandmother use to make them all the time for the Christmas holidays

Softbreeze, the colors come from the Italian flag -- red, white, green!"

MY REVIEW
stmpweez
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"I've been making these for a few years. They are delicious. You can use whatever colors you prefer....red/green for Christmas; pink/blue for baby shower; pastels for Easter. Being able to make them ahead of time is a bonus!"

MY REVIEW
ldaiello
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"a little time consuming, but worth it.

Softbreeze needs a little imagination and save money on the shrink. If I had my way all rainbows would have chocolate atop. Thanks for the great recipe."

MY REVIEW
SKSDesigns
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"This is a great recipe for all year round. I have made these for several years. I cut them into squares and the book step can be eliminated. I have never done that. Publix and Kash & Karry used to sell these during Easter and Christmas time when I lived in Florida (gulf coast). Making them was better. I put them on a glass cake plate wtih a glass see through dome / cover as a centerpiece for my table. It made a very pretty presentation. You will have to keep refilling the plate, so make plenty of extra. These are delicious."

MY REVIEW
wccnsoul
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"Ha! That is funny!"

MY REVIEW
broberts1302
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"Ive been making these cookies since the early 80s. I found the recipe in a Christmas magazine. We just call them the Christmas Cookies. I also entered them in our county fair and won a blue ribbon. I did tweek the recipe a bit. First I weigh the dough to be sure they are all the same. I use raspberry jam instead of the apricot. Also I spread the melted chocolate on the green and yellow layer then the jam. Before I add the chocolate on top, I cover with wax paper then place two or three heavy books on top for 24 hours then add the layer of chocolate and cut into one inch squares. They are my oldest son's favorite cookie!"

MY REVIEW
Softbreeze
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2012

"My question is....Where the heck did you ever see a Green,Pale Yellow, Orange and Chocolate Brown Rainbow??? I have an appointment with the 'Shrink" next week. I was lucky....He squeezed me in because he was quite worried about my visiion!!"

MY REVIEW
skuehn
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"Absolutely WONDERFUL!!!! I was worried because the dough was super thick and thought I might have deflated the egg whites, however they turned out great! Also, I pureed the apricot preserves so as not to have any "chunks". Labor intensive but worth it. Reminds me of the ones I used to have in New York (I am now in Florida). Thanks for a great recipe!!"

MY REVIEW
Bakingtown
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2011

"Wonderful cookie to make to add some color and taste to a cookie tray! Very good recipe and the kids loved it."

MY REVIEW
3-dognight
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2011

"made this with Splenda and sugar-free jam. Turned out great. Wonderful flavor and color. very pretty to look at."

MY REVIEW
3-dognight
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2011

"these are wonderfully flavored and very pretty to look at. I made them for my annual "pastor's box" at Christmas and go rave reviews on them. I made them with sugar-free Splenda and sugar-free jam. Everyone loved them."

MY REVIEW
wbird
Reviewed Sep. 8, 2011

"Tried the recipe ahead of time for my daughters bridal shower. Delicious! Am definitely making these for the shower."

MY REVIEW
moogeymomma
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2010

"I've been making these cookies for years, although my recipe calls them "venetians. Yes, they are time comsuming, but so worth the trouble. Have to make at least 3 batches at a time, and yes, the cookies do freeze well if you don't put the chocolate on them before freezing."

MY REVIEW
hook57
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2010

"Unless you are making these for a dessert platter or entertaining, they are definitely time consuming! We found the measurement for the chocolate topping too much, it overpowered the taste of the cookie. I always thought 1 cup was 8 ounces, not 6 oz. as stated in the ingredients. A typo error maybe? 3/4 cup of chocolate chips would probably be better!

We're hoping time in the freezer will help with the taste....."

MY REVIEW
maggieaw
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2010

"Yes, it is a time consuming recipe but the results are definitely worth the effort. I had none of these left on the cookie platters at the end of the night!"

MY REVIEW
wrobelrm
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2009

"I've made this recipe for years now and it is a family favorite! I follow the recipe exactly and I have no trouble with them at all. They are delicious and we usually store them in the fridge because we like to eat them cold."

MY REVIEW
Jetertwo
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2009

"I've made this recipe for the past couple of year now and I have mastered it. I actually make them all year round, sometimes I change the colors. People now beg for them, the store or bakery bought can't compare."

MY REVIEW
RFurnari
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2009

"I thought I would take the time to share with you that I do not use Almond Paste. I use Solo Almond Pie Filling I find the cookies come out moist and not as dry."

MY REVIEW
BrytEyz
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2009

"This recipe (we call them "Ribbon Cookies," but the recipe as originally written uses the title "Neapolitan Cookies") has been a family favorite for well over 30 years. They are well worth the extra effort. Don't forget to weight down with a heavy cutting board in the refrigerator overnight; this important step helps to hold the layers together later."

MY REVIEW
alexpio
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2009

"Right now my 3 layers are cooling before adding jelly. I'd probably do it again because I can tell by the crumbs that they're delicious. I think 'spread each portion into the prepared pans' gives no idea how much of a problem this is. By the time I got to the third layer I found a lot easier way. Cut (or fold) the waxed paper to the size for the pan. Grease it per instructions but don't put it in the pan. Put it on a cookie sheet, then put the dough on top. It helps if you put it in 3 or 4 piles. Lay a piece of saran on top of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. The waxed paper shows you the size. When it covers the paper, lift the whole thing and drop it into the prepared pan. Adjust it as necessary. I had to push the corners down. Then bake as usual. Actually, except for insuring the size, I'm not sure why we need the 9 x 13 pan. I'm tempted to just bake them on the cookie sheet next time. I didn't give 5 stars because I'm not finished yet."

MY REVIEW
asouth
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2008

"I make 3 batches every Christmas. I've used the 7-oz. tube of almond paste without a problem, but prefer the 8-oz can.

I don't fill with too much jam because I find that the layers fall apart when cutting the cookies if I do. Make sure you pull out the big clumps of apricot in the apricot jam or you'll have lumpy cookies.
Immediately after chocolate is put on top, score with a knife to establish cutting lines. This will help to avoid breaking the chocolate after it has cooled.
These are also great for baby showers if you use blue and pink food coloring instead of green and red. Also graduations, using school colors (as long as they don't look too odd as cookies - don't think I'd do black and red, for instance)"

MY REVIEW
jewelie1981
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2008

"I also line the baking pan with aluminum foil.

I also only use one kind of jelly, and experimented with homemade blackberry jelly which turned out delicious. I tend to put in much more jelly than it calls for because that's my favorite part.
Oh, and a food processor will break up the almond paste beautifully. If you break it up a little bit and put it on 'pulse' a few times, it will really chop it up very finely. Also, you can add the rest of the ingredients and just use the processor. It mixes beautifully. That saved me a LOT of time when I made three batches last month.
And they freeze perfectly so you can make them a couple months in advance without issue."

MY REVIEW
hulagirlfriend
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2008

"I make these every Christmas and they are excellent. I now line the baking pan with non stick aluminum foil with some overhang, and after baking I can gently lift out the ultra thin layers from the pans. Always use 8 oz. canned almond paste - the tube is 7 oz. - it makes a difference."

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