I have a confession to make. I’m not proud of it but I feel compelled to share. You know how most Jewish gatherings serve the ubiquitous Assorted Cookie Platter? You know the ones I mean… Well, I confess: I hoard the multi-colored Rainbow Cookies.
I don’t intend to hoard them – in fact, I always start with just one. But I inevitably end up going back for seconds and thirds. I know… they’re called assorted cookies because you’re supposed to try several types. I just can’t help myself! I love their moist and rich almond interior, lightened by a hint of acidic apricot and then intensified by a touch of bitter chocolate. Add the fun colors and you have the perfect cookie.
When planning this year’s Hanukkah gathering, I decided the festivities wouldn’t be complete without these cookies. With just a tiny adjustment to my regular recipe, they became Rainbow Cookies á la Hanukkah. Making them is a multi-step process but, fear not, they are easy steps. Here’s the recipe:
About Joy Prevor: A food aficionado and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Joy Dawn Prevor has served as a major gifts fundraiser and senior executive in the Jewish nonprofit sector for over 17 years.
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
8 oz almond paste
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 drops blue food coloring
12 drops blue food coloring
12 oz apricot preserves, heated and strained
12 oz high-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter three 9 X 13 baking sheet pans and line with parchment paper. Beat almond paste in stand mixer until smooth. Add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add almond extract and then eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt – only beat until combined.
Divide batter into three bowls and add 6 drops of blue food coloring to one bowl and 12 drops of blue food coloring to a second bowl – leave the third bowl plain.
Spread each batter into its own pan and bake for approximately 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, place one of the blue cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread preserves on it and place the plain cake on top. Spread preserves on plain cake and place the other blue cake on top. Freeze for 1 hour to set jam.
Spread melted chocolate on top and on sides – chill for 30 minutes to set. Flip cake onto another piece of parchment paper and spread chocolate on the other side – freeze for at least one hour. While still frozen, slice cake into 1 ½ inch logs and slice logs into individual ½ inch cookies. Allow cookies to defrost before serving