Monday, March 31, 2014

Rainbow Cookies

Well, we just had St. Patrick's Day, a bake sale and a preschool rainbow color picnic all in one week, so of course I was on a mission to make something extra festive and brilliant. So Rainbow Cookies it was! There were a couple recipes online but they were either in grams (and I don't have the patience to bother converting to good ol' cups and other measurements that only make sense to Americans.) or YouTube videos (who has the time to WATCH somebody else make cookies?! No thanks!) So I used my brain and my mom's Christmas cookie recipe (which has the bonus of me KNOWING it's delicious!).

   In comparison to my Mom's cookies which require rolling out, cutting, rolling out, cutting, rolling out, cutting, (and baking about a hundred cookie sheets), then frosting in a million colors (Granted, they're beautiful in the end, but I'm over it about halfway through), these cookies were a cinch. The stacking of the colors into an arch-shaped log isn't terribly thrilling and a little time consuming (about a half an hour to mix the colors and stack the log) but after chilling the log, you're home free with just slicing and baking. And they are ADORABLE! and BRILLIANT! And everybody will want to know how you did it!

I did this in two days to spare my sanity and what little time I have in a day between drop-off and drop-off and toddler-feeding (seriously this girl eats 5 meals a day.) and then pick-up and pick-up. And, yeah, I'll admit it, I do this stuff during the day because I hate to see my adult time get eaten up by baking for bake sales and picnics. Also, I am blessed with children who think baking time is quality hang time.

OK, so, really, this is

1. Mix up your butter cookie dough, or sugar cookie dough. To be honest, I'm not sure what kind of dough my mom's cookies are but it works and tastes delicious and that's all I need to know.
Here's the recipe I altered to make the rainbow cookies. The real recipe for Christmas Cookies to follow.


  • 1 c. softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted flour (Honestly, I just stir the flour in my canister before lightly spooning it into the cup, it's less of a pain in the caboose and the results are good.)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg. Sifte together flour, salt and baking powder. Stir together flour, salt and baking powder. 

Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture.

2. Roll the dough into a cone-shaped log. Divide into 6 sections with each ball being slightly larger than the last. (Ignore that extra ball in the background of my picture, I was doing a double batch.)

3. Put a thumbprint in the middle of each ball and put your food coloring in. I used gel colors. It was a little less messy and the colors are more vibrant. The small ball is purple, then blue, green, yellow, orange, then red is the largest.

(again, ignore my doubles, I was doing that double batch.)

4. Roll the purple ball into a log about 1" in diameter. Mine was about 7-8" long.
 (In the end the log was about a foot, just so you know.)

5. With each subsequent color, flatten the ball into a rectangle that will wrap around the log to make an arch. This is about how mine measured out: blue was about 2.5" wide, then green was 3.25, yellow4, orange 4.75 and red 5.5. With each color getting about an inch longer with every addition, because the log gets stretch a little longer every time you wrap a new color. Really smoosh them on there so there hopefully won't be gaps between the layers.

Keep going....

Keep going....


6. Put the log into the refrigerator for at least an hour. I did overnight, so onto:


7. Preheat oven to 375*.

8. Take the log out of the fridge. Cut the ends off, taking off only as much as you can to make a nice flat surface on either end.

9. Cut the rest of the log into slices 1/4" thick. Sometimes you'll get gaps between the colors, I just kind of smoosh the back together gently, sometimes I rock the log back and forth along the arch to smoosh the colors together more before cutting. So far they don't fall apart after baking so take that for that's worth.

 10. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets, leaving a little space between them, for 10 minutes or until edges just golden brown.

11. The bottoms of the rainbows will be a little pushed out, so while the cookies are warm cut off the bottom of each rainbow with a sharp knife to get a nice clean edge. Cool on wire racks.

I suppose Skittles might sue me if I say "Taste the rainbow," but look at these, how can I resist!?

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