Italian Rainbow Cookies
This is the perfect cake meets cookie dessert! I usually make these around the holidays but they really are delicious all year long, especially if you have someone who can't decide if they want cake or cookies. I like to use natural food coloring to dye the cookies, my favorite brand is Supernatural - they have a holiday green and red that is perfect for this. These cookies store for 2 weeks in an airtight container, lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator.
Your Time: 40 minutes Fridge Time: 9 hours
One 7-ounce log almond paste
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Natural red food coloring
Natural green food coloring
1/2 cup orange or apricot marmalade
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or bar, chopped
Non-stick cooking spray
Spray three 8x8 baking dishes with non-stick spray and then line the pans with parchment paper on all sides (the non stick spray will help the parchment stick to the edges of the pan). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment add the egg whites and beat on medium speed until the eggs are frothy. Slowly stream in 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Remove the whipped egg whites to a bowl and set aside. Wipe the stand mixer bowl out and then place back on the mixer with a paddle attachment.
Using your hands, break up the almond paste into small pieces. I like to push small pieces of the almond paste between my thumb and pointer finger to flatten larger pieces. Place the paste in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Cream the ingredients together until evenly combined and the almond paste is evenly incorporated into the butter, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine. Next, stir in the flour and salt until the flour just combines. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and then gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter in two batches. Stop folding when you no longer see any streaks of egg whites in the batter.
Place a third of the batter, about 10 ounces, into one of the prepared baking dishes and spread the batter out evenly. Set aside. Divide the remaining batter into two separate bowls, about 10-ounces of batter per bowl. Dye one bowl of batter with the natural red food coloring (the amount will vary depending on the brand you are using, but add until the color you desire is reached) and dye the second bowl of batter with the natural green food coloring. Spread each of these batters evenly into the remaining two prepared baking dishes and then place in the oven. Bake until the batter is just set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
When the cakes are cool, carefully remove the plain and red cakes from the pans. Set aside.
Place the marmalade in a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 seconds to loosen the marmalade. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large pieces of orange rind and then pour half of the strained marmalade over the green cake, spreading it evenly over the top with an offset spatula. Place the plain cake over the top and gently press down. Spread the remaining strained marmalade over the top of the plain cake, again spreading it evenly over the top of the cake. Place the red cake on top and gently press down again. Cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment and then top it with one of the baking dishes, so it nestles right on top of the cakes. Place some heavy cans on top in the baking dish to weigh down the cakes. Refrigerate overnight.
Place half of the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 second increments until the chocolate is evenly melted. Pour half of the chocolate over the top of the red cake and spread it evenly over the top. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate is completely set.
Microwave the remaining half of the chocolate until melted. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator. Place a cutting board on top of the baking dish and then use that to flip the cake onto. Remove the parchment from the top of the cake and evenly spread the remaining melted chocolate over the top. Place back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and cut into three even strips. Cut each of those strips into 16 cookies, each cookie will about 1/4-inch thick. Store in an airtight container lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.