Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rainbow Cookies

This recipe was originally posted in my old blog Soap Mom's Kitchen.  I found a copy of it, so here it is.  Unfortunately, some of the pics were damaged.

This is definitely my number one requested cookie by my family and friends for the holidays. This recipe is on my blog for all my nieces and friends to make and enjoy throughout the years.  I must tell you this is a time consuming cookie to make and does require some experience in baking to make them without a hitch. There are a few steps involved and I would consider this an advance cookie to make. Read the assembly instructions a few times to make a mental note on the procedure. Once you master it and are comfortable, I think you will be making it all the time. They are wonderful. Keep them in a sealed container and they will stay fresh for about a week. They also make a wonderful gift.

Special Note: If trying this cookie for the first time you can leave out the almond paste. It takes a little practice to make this cookie. I recommend not using almond paste, because it can be pricey until you are comfortable with this cookie. The almond paste does add another dimension of flavor/moistness and I highly recommend using it. Also, you can substitute apricot jam or do one layer apricot and one layer raspberry.  This recipe is scaled down from a professional baker's recipe. This recipe requires a kitchen scale.

3 silpat lined halfsize sheet pans (Must use silpat this is crucial no parchment)
Food coloring: green, red and yellow
1 Large jar of Raspberry seedless jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Food Scale

1 pound unsalted butter, softened (Must be Room Temperature)
1 pound sugar
8 ounces almond paste, not marzipan
(if not using almond paste add 2 teaspoons of almond extract)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound eggs (must be room temperature)
1 pound cake flour

I jar of seedless raspberry jam or apricot/must be completely smooth and seedless
Food Colors (red, yellow, green)

Add almond paste to mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. Add butter and sugar beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs slowly to incorporate, mix well. Add extracts.  Add cake flour slowly and beat until very well incorporated.

Divide batter into 3 separate bowls in equal amounts. Add food coloring of different colors to each one. The traditional colors are red, green and yellow. Add enough food coloring to achieve desired color hue.

Pour each color onto a prepared pan lined with a silpat (Must use silpat). Level out with an offset spatula and tap on counter to level out. Bake each cake for about 8 to 12 minutes. When you touch the top with your finger it should be slightly moist and make a slight dent. You do not want to over bake and get a dry cake that would be hard to handle.  This part is tricky and crucial to success. BECAREFUL.  To keep from drying out between baking  each layers, the cake that is cooling should be covered with a tea towel. 

When cakes have cooled, lift one cake that is on silpat and place on a large cutting board covered in parchment or foil slightly bigger than the cake itself for easy lifting to fridge. Peel off the silpat. 

Take your jar of seedless raspberry preserve and pour into a bowl. Smooth out with a wooden-spoon. Place a thin layer of jam on the first layer and level off with a offset spatula.

Lift another cake layer while holding on to the silpat and gently place cake side down on jam layer. Pull off silpat and add another layer of jam. Add the remaining cake layer on top.  

 Over a double boiler on very gentle heat melt 2 large bags of chocolate chips, until smooth.  Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or let steam from the double boiler get into chocolate.  Your chocolate will seize and you will have to throw it out.

Smooth a thin layer of chocolate like picture below, and use a metal pastry comb to make traditional zigzag design.

Ready for the first chocolate layer to go into the fridge to harden. Cake must be on a sturdy board to place into fridge. 

When chocolate on one side is completely cool and completely hard, you must use a second large board covered in parchment or foil (can use a cookie sheet turned upside down instead of a hard board) and flip over like you would a cake to a plate.  Cover that side with melted chocolate and using offset spatula smooth out evenly and use pastry comb doing a zigzag design.  Place in fridge to harden chocolate.

When both sides of the cookie are covered in chocolate and harden, using a very sharp large chef's knife  trim sides and keep for a snack and cut your little rectangles. You can heat the knife under hot water and wipe dry before cutting.  You want to get the cleanest cuts possible.  Keep in a tight sealed container to stay moist and fresh for about a week.

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