These Rainbow Cookies, regular haunts of New York Pastry Shoppes and corner delis, these are delicious. Three layers of moist, dense, almond cake sandwich—in the less traditional, but overall more delicious and heart clogging—chocolate ganache. And then covered in more chocolate for good measure. It’s the texture, it’s the taste. And it’s now only a memory.
So, yes. This is a secret post. Because the Rainbow Cookies didn’t make it out of California and all my New York relatives are a little angry. Not mad, per se. It’s the holidays.
But I would be getting a lot more presents if I had brought some Rainbow Cookies.
Rainbow Cookies (Seven Layer Cookies)
Adapted from Gourmet
7-8 oz. almond paste
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
12 drops red food coloring
12 drops green food coloring
12 drops yellow food coloring
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and then line with wax paper, letting the edges overhang. Set aside. Separate eggs and put yolks aside. Whip egg whites with ½ teaspoon salt in a stand-up mixer until foamy. Slowly add ¼ cup of the white sugar and beat till stiff peaks. Transfer to a large metal bowl and set aside.
2. Crumble the almond paste into the bowl of the stand-up mixer fixed with a paddle attachment. Add the remaining ¾ cup of white sugar and mix on low speed until the almond paste is completely broken up and fine. Add the softened butter and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale in color. Add the egg yolks, almond and vanilla extracts and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the flour, one cup at a time until just barely combined. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the flour mixture until just combined.
3. Separate the batter into three bowls, adding one color of food coloring to each. Starting with the red batter, spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 7-11 minutes of until just set and slightly dry on the top. It is very important to undercook the cookie. Because nobody likes a dry Rainbow Cookie. Belch. Keeping the wax paper on, transfer the red layer to a cooling rack and repeat the baking process for the yellow and green layers.
4. While layers are baking, bring the heavy cream to a simmer then pour over the semisweet chocolate in a large metal bowl. Let stand for about five minutes then whisk until smooth, placing over a double boiler if the chocolate is still lumpy. Once all the cookie layers are done, spread half the ganache over the red layer, leaving the wax paper side done. This is to ensure minimal sticking while the cookies are setting. Lay the yellow layer over the ganache and then remove the yellow’s wax paper. Spread the remaining ganache over the yellow layer, then top with the green layer, leaving the wax paper side up. Sandwich the layered cookies between two baking sheets and refrigerate for at leas 4 hours, weight the top evenly with cans, milk, bricks, etc.
5. After the cookie has set, melt the bittersweet chocolate on top of a double boiler. Peel off one side of the wax paper and spread half the melted chocolate on top of the cookie. Return to refrigerator and cool just until the chocolate has set. Flip the cookie and spread the remaining chocolate on the other side, removing the wax paper first. Return to the cookies to the fridge and let cool. Slice while still cool and store, covered, at room temperature. Consume with a New York accent. Maybe with some Long Island thrown in. It’s how my aunts do.