I'm always crushing hard on Italian rainbow cookies. Moist almond cake like layers filled with raspberry jam and covered in chocolate. They are constantly the first cookie to disappear from bakery platters and cookie boxes. It had never occurred to me that I could make them at home until some Christmases ago when I gave them a try. They are just as much work as they seem but the payoff is so sweet and rewarding. They require elbow grease and time. But they make a very large batch that can carry you through at least two parties so, winning.
P and I made these for Easter weekend and changed up the traditional red yellow and green for a more seasonal blue, pink and purple. They are really fun and adorable and, oh yeah, completely delicious and impressive.
italian rainbow cookies for spring
1 8 oz can of almond paste or almond filling
1 C butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 C all-purpose flour, sifted
red and green food coloring
1/2 C seedless raspberry jam
8 oz semisweet chocolate bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line 3 13 x 9" pans with wax paper (or if you only have 1 pan, like me, then do one layer at a time). Using a fork, break up almond filling in a mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar and egg yolks, beating until fluffy at medium speed. Mix in flour with wooden spoon. In another bowl (with a mixer), beat egg whites until peaks form and then fold into the almond mixture. Separate batter into 3 bowls and add food coloring of your choice to each bowl. Mix completely.
Pour into pans and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Invert onto wire racks and cool. Once cooled, turn the cakes right side up onto a large cutting board and spread with a thin layer of jam, layering the cakes together. Cover the layered cake with plastic wrap and weigh down with a heavy book. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, melt chocolate and spread on the top of the cake. Let cool completely (I placed in the fridge to cool and harden). Flip the entire cake over and coat this side with melted chocolate. Let cool completely and cut into 1-2 bite square cookies.
Note: I did not 'frost' the sides, just the tops and bottoms. I also shaved the sides slightly to get a straight edge. Scraps make a great snack for the baker.