I teased some of you on Facebook recently with these gorgeous and festive sugar cookies. I…
A classic in Italian bakeries, seven layer rainbow cookies are stacked with an almond sponge, a thin layer apricot jam and covered with chocolate.
Seven Layer Rainbow Cookies
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar separated
- 1 8-oz tube of almond paste
- 2 1/2 sticks 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 25 drops red food coloring *I used natural food coloring, see notes
- 25 drops green food coloring *I used natural food coloring, so it was blue and yellow, see notes
- 1 – 12 ounce jar apricot preserves heated and strained
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang, then butter the paper as well.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer fitted with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks.
- Stream in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating at high speed until whites hold stiff glossy peaks, then transfer to another bowl.
- In the same (now empty) mixing bowl, switch to a paddle attachment and beat the almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes.
- Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, for another 2 minutes. Then reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined.
- Fold half of the egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites.
- Divide batter among 3 bowls. Stir red food coloring into one , green food coloring into another, and leave the third batch plain. Set white batter aside.
- Chill green batter, covered. Pour red batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Bake red layer 8 to 10 minutes, until just set. Then once done, use paper overhang and transfer red layer to a rack to cool.
- Clean pan, then line with wax paper and butter paper in same manner as above. Bake white layer in prepared pan until just set. As white layer bakes, bring green batter to room temperature. Transfer white layer to a rack. Prepare pan as above, then bake green layer in same manner as before. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Line a clean baking sheet with parchment paper and once all the layers are cooled, invest green layer onto sheet. Spread half of the preserves, then place while layer on top, then another layer of preserves and finally the red layer.
- Cover entire sheet with plastic wrap and place another baking sheet on top to weigh down. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove weight and plastic wrap and bring layers to room temperature. Melt chocolate in a double boiler with a heat safe bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.
- Trim edges of the cookie with a long serrated knife. Quickly spread half of chocolate in a thin layer on top of cake.
- Chill, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and place another baking sheet on top, then invert cake onto sheet and remove paper. Quickly spread with remaining chocolate. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Freeze entire cake for a few hours until everything is firm. Then it is much easier to cut with a sharp knife into squares.
- Cut lengthwise into 4 strips. Cut strips crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide cookies
Because it was organic, I had to mix blue and yellow together, so I used 40 drops-blue and 5 drops-yellow. * I heated a jar of preserves and strained the entire jar through a sieve. Then I weighed the strained amount and divided it in half, so half for each layer.