I can't believe I made these a month ago. I miss them. Deeply. But It's well past time I shared my favorite cookie with you.
Rainbow cookies, or as the Smitten Kitchen's recipe calls them, Seven-Layer Cookies (chocolate-spongecake-jam-spongecake-jam-spongecake-chocolate... 7.. mmm), are a rich (as the SK says, they're kinda more like petit fours) combination of three delectable components: almond-based spongecake, apricot (and/or raspberry) jam, and chocolate.
So how does this magic happen? Three spongecakes (I probably shouldn't tell anyone this, but I started typing 'spongebob' first...) are stacked with jam between them, then the whole thing is covered with melted chocolate. Once set, it's cut into small, Rainbow Cookie-size pieces (about an inch by an inch and a half) and voilà.
Ok, there might be some other steps in there somewhere. The entire process took a few hours, in addition to waiting for the layers to set overnight, but as you can see, it was completely worth it. Every second spent whipping egg whites, creaming almond paste and butter (I did say these were rich...), and spreading glossy dark chocolate only made the final result a more fulfilling culmination of my years-long quest (years. long. quest.) to find a recipe and make these.
The name I grew up using for these (which is just a funner name, let's be honest) captures another important detail about the cookies: the characteristic red, white, and green "rainbow" that instantly draws your eye to them among all the treats on display at the bakery. Speaking of bakeries- one tale I've heard explaining the colors is that these cookies originated in Italian-American bakeries, which decided to make these almond flavored cookies (is there anything more Italian?) the rosso-bianco-verde of the Italian flag.
The rainbow cookie is one of the many reasons (I plan to share more of them) Italian bakeries are pretty much the best places in the world. For as long as I can remember (here we go again) these cookies were a necessary purchase whenever we strolled by the bakery. Or just whenever. So the next time you happen to pass by a bakery that looks eye-talian, stop in and buy some of these. They will change your life.
The only thing missing was that typical waxpaper wrapping and white box tied with red & white string. Next time.