Delicious recipes straight from the kitchens of your favorite Tule authors.
Patty adores baking and in her Christmas in New York novella, Goodness and Light, main character Elena bakes a family favorite, Italian Rainbow Cookies.
Like colored Italian glass, these tiny cookies boast layers of green, yellow and red. A mistake in this recipe improved it, according to all members of Patty’s family. She bakes several batches of these cookies each year and her mother, who gave her the recipe, kept complaining that Patty’s tasted better than hers. That’s when Patty discovered her error: she substituted Almond Filling!
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes; makes about 6 dozen.
- Hand or stand mixer
- 3 bowls
- Egg separator
- Waxed paper
- 3 13 x 9 x 2 pans
- 4 large or medium eggs, separated
- 1 can of Solo Almond Filling (Note: Other recipes call for Almond Paste, but the secret to success is using almond FILLING.)
- 1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, softened in microwave
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Green and red food coloring
- 1 jar of apricot or raspberry preserves
- 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (either squares or chips) for glaze, or use preserves
- 1 ounce of cream or Crisco to soften the chocolate
- Grease three 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans; line each pan with wax paper and then grease the paper.
- Hint: Let wax paper over-hang short edges of pan to use as ‘handles’ when removing baked layers. Set out three sheets of wax paper on heat-proof surface to receive baked layers when removed from pans.
- Beat egg whites with electric mixer in small bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Break up almond filling with a fork. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks. Beat with electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Beat in flour a little at a time and salt until blended.
- Fold beaten egg whites into mixture with wire whip.
- It helps to tint one batch at a time. Remove about a cup and a half of batter; spread evenly into one of prepared pans. This will be your yellow layer. Use a spoon to force batter to coat bottom of pan and reach the edges. If you find there just isn’t enough, remove a scant spoonful at a time from the bowl and add to the pan until the pan is covered. Use another bowl to divide the remaining batter in half; tint one half green and LEAVE THE REMAINING HALF YELLOW UNTIL NEXT STEP. Spread the green batter in the second prepared pan. You may add a spoonful of untinted batter, mixing carefully in the pan, until the pan is completely covered. Finally, tint the remaining batter red; spread into last prepared pan.
- Bake in moderate oven (350o) about 15 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Center should not be sticky or shiny. Note: layers will be very thin; less than a quarter inch.
- Immediately upon removing pans from oven, invert each layer onto the waxed paper you laid out in Step 1. Peel off the baking liner paper carefully, trying not to tear layers. Cool completely.
- Heat preserves; strain. Use the waxed paper to carefully lift the green layer onto a jelly roll pan or other flat pan that will fit into a refrigerator. Spread a thin layer of preserves onto green layer; spread to all edges. You may remove any remaining lumps, if desired.
- Use the waxed paper to carefully lift, align and flip yellow layer on top of preserves-topped green layer. If you do not align edges properly, CAREFULLY try to slide layer into place without tearing. Spread another layer of preserves on top of the yellow layer; spread to all edges.
- Use the waxed paper to carefully lift, align and flip the red layer on top of the yellow layer.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap; weight with large book (phone book or textbook) and refrigerate over night to encourage the layers to adhere.
- Next day: Melt chocolate in microwave until smooth. Add cream or Crisco to keep the chocolate from re-hardening. Spread chocolate over top of assembled cake. Smooth to all edges. Let set in refrigerator, about 30 minutes. Optional: Top with ice cream sprinkles or nuts.
- Trim the rough edges from cake and discard. Cut trimmed cake into 1 x 1 inch squares with a very sharp, non-serrated knife. (Serrated knives ‘saw’ the cake, grinding the fragile layers.) It helps to cut a length off the cake and flip it on its side to slice into squares so the chocolate layer is not ruined.