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Rainbow Cookies

I always bake these cookies two weeks ahead. That allows enough time for mellowing, leaving them moist and full of almond flavor. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 8 dozen


  • 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 to 8 drops red food coloring
  • 6 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Grease the bottoms of 3 matching 13x9-in. baking pans (or reuse 1 pan). Line the pans with waxed paper; grease the paper.
  • Place almond paste in a large bowl; break up with a fork. Cream with butter, sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Stir in flour. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into dough, mixing until thoroughly blended.
  • Divide dough into 3 portions (about 1-1/3 cups each). Color 1 portion with red food coloring and 1 with green; leave the remaining portion uncolored. Spread each portion into the prepared pans. Bake at 350° until edges are light golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
  • Invert onto wire racks; remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack on top and turn over. Cool completely.
  • Place green layer on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread evenly with raspberry jam. Top with uncolored layer and spread with apricot jam. Top with pink layer. Bring plastic wrap over layers. Slide onto a baking sheet and set a cutting board or a heavy, flat pan on top to compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, melt chocolate in a microwave; stir until smooth. Spread over top layer; allow to harden. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut into 1/2-in. strips across the width; then cut each strip into 4-5 pieces. Store in airtight containers.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 61 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 19mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • Jane
    Dec 18, 2020

    Haven't tried this recipe yet. Have a similar one calling them Italian cookies with the colors of the Italian flag. Several people have mentioned something about waiting 2 weeks. I couldn't find anything like that in the recipe as written. Can someone please explain. This recipe looks better as it's made in 9X13 pans. More cookies to share! thanks

  • JSB
    Jul 29, 2020

    This recipe is similar to the one my grandmother used to make. I make them year-round and vary the colors and jam filling depending on the season, This year for our very pared down July fourth bbq, I made them red, white and blue, and topped them and sprinkled the top with red, white and blue sprinkles.

  • AnnMarie
    Oct 27, 2019

    Make three separate batches, one green, one red and one plain (although I make the third layer yellow). You can do this step over a few days. Then put the cookies together all at once for a nice triple batch, and a more manageable work load. Remember to at least triple the amount of food coloring needed for each single color batch. People love these, worth the effort, time and mess!

  • JoanLouise
    Dec 20, 2017

    do you store the finished rainbow cookies in the refrigerator

  • suzanne
    Dec 6, 2017

    I have been making them since the recipe appeared in Taste of Home several years ago. By far my favorite cookie recipe, they are delicious. I use much more preserves , more like 1/2 cup of each.

  • billynn793
    Dec 5, 2017

    I made these cookies twice, they came out excellent...I did however cut the sugar in half as there is a layer of jam between each layer...everyone loves them...easy to make just a little time way to spread the dough is to first spray your pan then lay down the parchment paper, don't spray the parchment paper then spread the dough on it with the back of a large spoon dipped in hot water, works very well. Thanks for the recipe, my new fav!

  • 2124arizona
    Jun 22, 2017

    This recipe makes enough to give as gifts for the holidays. Love the almond flavor accompanied with the jam and chocolate!!

  • ria543
    Dec 3, 2016

    I make my own almond paste, very easy and well worth it

  • bobbeeb
    Dec 1, 2016

    I have my own recipe but this one is pretty much the same. I have been making these for 22 years. I make about 3-5 batches at Christmas. Going to my daughters in Alabama for Christmas where I am going to teach her how to make these. they are not for the unskilled. she will now carry the torch. Like my Christmas Eve linguine with clam sauce, my brisket and German Spec Salad, these cookies are a family tradition. PS, I AM from Greenpoint Brooklyn!!!

  • catlovesbooks
    Apr 6, 2015

    These are beautiful and have a great complex flavor! I will make these again!