Rainbow Cookies

Rainbow Cookies
A colourful cookie 'cake' with the colours of the Italian flag, traditionally sold in Italian bakeries. I found that using an almond paste means that the cookie cake isn't too sweet, which is why this recipe requires using an almond paste instead of marzipan.
Icon_cookingtime_grey Created with Sketch. 3 hours
Icon_apron_grey Created with Sketch. Medium
Icon_cloche_grey Created with Sketch. Serves 16
Rainbow Cookies

Ingredients

227g Almond paste

1 cup (214g) Caster sugar

339g Butter

4 Eggs

1/4 cup (65ml) Milk

2 tsp Almond extract

2 cups (256g) Plain flour

1/4 tsp Red food colouring gel

1/4 tsp Green food colouring gel

1/2 cup (165g) Apricot jam

1 1/3 cup (220g) Dark chocolate

Additional butter for the baking trays

How to make

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 160C. Butter 3 rectangular 13x9 inch baking trays. Disposable ones work well for this too.

  2. Crumble the almond paste and mix it with half of the butter with a hand mixer until it's smooth with no lumps. Add the remaining butter and the sugar and mix.

  3. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and add the yolks one by one into the mix until just combined.

  4. Add the milk and almond extract and mix.

  5. Add 1 cup of flour at a time and mix until just combined.

  6. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold in 1/3 with a metal spoon or spatula until it's well mixed. Add the remainder of egg white and fold into the mixture. It will start looking like a cake batter.

  7. Separate into 3 bowls, and put one of them aside as it doesn't need colouring.

  8. Add the food colouring to the two remaining bowls and mix until you're happy with the colour.

  9. Starting from the corners, evenly spread the mixture into each tray and make sure it reaches all the sides and corners. This mixture doesn't rise or expand, so you have to spread it out as perfectly as possible before it goes into the oven. I recommend using an offset spatula to achieve a smooth finish.

  10. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, then turn the trays around and bake for another 3-5 minutes (this differs for every oven, so check it after 2 minutes). It shouldn't be too brown.

  11. Take the trays out and allow it to cool for 20 - 30 minutes before removing each layer from the tray.

  12. Place some greaseproof/baking paper on a board and place the green layer first and add half the apricot jam and spread evenly. Get it as close to the edge as possible and don't worry too much about it spilling over the sides. Repeat this with the layer without colouring next, then finally add the red layer.

  13. Place another sheet of greaseproof/baking paper on top, then place a tray on top with something weighing it down. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to set the jam.

  14. Take the cake out and trim the the edges to form an even rectangle.

  15. Melt the dark chocolate and let it cool a bit before spreading half on top of the red layer. As the cake has been chilling in the fridge, the chocolate will set quickly, so you need to work quickly to avoid it setting unevenly. When it's set, flip the cake around and repeat this for the green layer. Let it set or place in the fridge for 10 - 15 mins.

  16. Cut into 2x2 inch squares and then it's ready to eat!

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