Italian Rainbow cookies delicious and festive! Dense almond sponge cakes are layered with apricot or raspberry jam and topped with bittersweet chocolate. The cake is colored red, white and green-to represent the colors of the Italian flag. Worth all the effort to make your own at home and they freeze well!
Ingredients – 4 large eggs separated – 1 cup sugar – 1 8-oz can almond paste – 2½ sticks 1 1/4 cups margarine (or butter), softened (10 oz or 285 grams total of butter) – 1 teaspoon almond extract – 2 cups all-purpose flour – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 25 drops red food coloring – 25 drops green food coloring – 1 12-oz jar apricot or raspberry preserves, heated and strained – 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate not unsweetened, chopped
Italian Rainbow cookies are sometimes also called Neopolitans, Venetians and even Tri-color cookies. Many of you probably know them as Seven Layer Cookies (3 cake, 2 chocolate and 2 jam). I grew up enjoying these festive and beautiful cookies during the holidays. I also remember eating them at many Italian and Italian-American Christmas parties as a kid. Either the Italian hostess made it or they were from a bakery.
This particular recipes uses a combination of almond paste and almond extract. You will come across recipes that use almond extract only. My sister-in-law’s mother’s recipe was from the 1970’s and it had a large amount of ONLY almond extract. It truly is a perfectly flavored rainbow cookie using the combination of almond paste and almond extract. I do not recommend using only almond extract. Almond extract is very strong and be sure to measure out just one teaspoon (nothing more is needed).
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