Rainbow Cookies – You CAN make!

Rainbow Cookies to bake and shareYes, regular people can make Rainbow Cookies! 

It is a big project, but well worth the effort if you are a rainbow cookie lover.  We have many rainbow cookie fans in our house and extended family. 

When we make them, we have plenty to eat and plenty to share. 

My good friend Barbara shared her family recipe with me years ago and we have been enjoying these cookies ever since.

Almond paste cookie dough

When I bake these cookies it is always a big batch because I double it.  Well let’s face it, with six people in my house, just about everything I cook is a big batch!

 Make three colors for the layers

Red, yellow & green are the typical layer colors.  You can be creative if you like and change the colors.   For a pastel effect on the colors, add a minimal amount of food coloring.  For more vibrant colors, keep adding more drops until the dough is a deeper shade.

Although the uncolored dough turns out a pale yellow, I still add some food coloring to brighten the shade.

Spread the dough into 3 even layers

When baking the layers, take them out of the oven as soon as the edges start to brown.  Avoid overcooking the layers or your cookies will be too dry.

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Add jelly between the layers

Rainbow cookies are a multi-day baking project.  The first day is baking the 3 colored layers, adding the jelly in between and then pressing.   When flipping the layers, it helps to have two sets of hands.   I usually press my cookies for 2-3 days.

Press the cookie layers

When the cookies are finished pressing, is when you can add the chocolate layer.

Add the chocolate layer on top

When the chocolate layer cools and hardens, the cookies are ready to be cut into pieces.  Rectangle, square or diamond shapes all look nice for the rainbow cookies.

Slice even strips to make uniform cookies

I always add the chocolate before trimming the edges of the layers.  This way, I make a nice even cut along the edges.  All the trimmed edges turn into the snack pieces for my hungry helpers.

Time to enjoy the cookies!

We often include rainbow cookies as part of the cookie trays we bake for the holidays.  They make a nice dessert on their own or a colorful addition to any mixed cookie tray.

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Rainbow Cookies to bake and share
Rainbow Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 Dozen 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12-18 Minutes 2-3 Days
Servings Prep Time
3-4 Dozen 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12-18 Minutes 2-3 Days
Rainbow Cookies to bake and share
Rainbow Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 Dozen 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12-18 Minutes 2-3 Days
Servings Prep Time
3-4 Dozen 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
12-18 Minutes 2-3 Days
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Line three 8-1/2” X 12-1/2” pans with parchment paper, spray paper with cooking spray Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
  2. In large bowl, break up almond paste into small pieces with back of spoon. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix flour and salt together, add to the batter until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg white mixture into batter.
  4. Divide batter into equal thirds and add food coloring to make red, yellow and green batter. Spread each batter onto the parchment using a rubber spatula. Make the layers as smooth and even as possible. I use larger pans and spread the cookie dough just to the size I want. It is not necessary to go to the edge of the pan.
  5. Cook the layers at 350 for 12-18 minutes until the edge, just begins to get golden. Don’t overcook. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Heat preserves just to the bubbling point in a small saucepan. Turn the first cookie layer upside down on a fresh piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. **It is helpful to have a second set of hands to flip the layers. Since the layers are on the parchment paper, two people can flip them easily. Spread the warm jelly evenly to cover the porous side of the layer. Add another layer on top and spread more jelly on to to cover the whole layer. Add the third layer on top – do Not add more jelly.
  7. Cover the cookie layers with a fresh piece of parchment paper, then plastic wrap so that it is airtight. Place a clean cookie sheet on top and add several heavy books to help press the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator with the books on top to press for 2-3 days.
  8. After the cookies have finished pressing, remove from refrigerator to add the chocolate layer. Heat chocolate morsels in a small saucepan until melted. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top cookie layer. You can use a fork or pastry tool to make a decoration on your chocolate before it cools. Allow chocolate to cool and harden. You can put the tray back in the refrigerator while the chocolate cools.
  9. When the chocolate layer has hardened, it is time to slice and enjoy your cookies. Trim off the edges on four sides (about 1/2”) so that you get an even rainbow cookie edge.
  10. Use a large knife to cut long 1’ – 1 ½’ strips. Cut each strip into ½’ – ¾” cookies. Enjoy and share!
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2 comments

  1. My whole family loves rainbow cookies too but I never considered making them until now! Although it might take a couple of days until we get to enjoy them, your recipe looks pretty easy and the step by step pictures are great! Thank you for sharing your simplified recipe and my kids and I are looking forward to making them this weekend!

    1. Glad you will try the recipe Caitlin! These Rainbow Cookies are so delicious, it is worth taking the time to make them. Two of my friends don’t bother pressing them. It is possible to skip that step and eat them sooner! Good Luck!

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