Springtime Italian Rainbow Cookies with Lemon Curd

I'd like to introduce you to one of my absolute all-time favorite sweets.

It's my bright and breezy spring twist on the classic Italian Rainbow Cookies, which you already know I'm obsessed with.

I call these Lily Pullitzer beauties my Springtime Rainbows, and I think they are just perfect for the season!

Brightly colored layers of moist, dense almond cake are filled with tart lemon curd and seedless raspberry jam. Instead of the usual dark chocolate, I cover them with a crackling shell of sweet white chocolate which is perfect against the cool tartness of the lemon curd.

Sliced into one-inch bites, these are fantastic with a cup of tea or a glass of refreshing strawberry thyme limeade. They're also gorgeous and would be a welcome treat at any spring or summer brunch or tea party.

I developed this recipe nearly 5 years ago when I briefly ran a mail order business selling and shipping these cookies all over the country. I specialized in rainbow cookies in a variety of flavors and colors. I also made this amazing Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake.

It was a success, but exhausting since I was also maintaining a full-time job as a magazine editor. After a few months of no sleep (and permanently pink and green fingertips!) I realized that it wasn't the life for me.

Now I just bake up a few batches of these cookies for my friends, parties, and a few select special occasions.

Such an occasion came up this past weekend, when I was asked to participate as a blogger baker for the Sweet Sensations dessert tasting benefiting C-CAP or The Careers Through Culinary Arts Program--a wonderful organization that works with public schools across the country to prepare under-served high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

I'll be sharing more about the event later this week when I get the photos in, but for now I want to share this cookie recipe with you. 

I made 100 of these cookies to share with the guests on Sunday, and they were definitely a hit. 

FYI: From the photos you can see that the white chocolate shattered a bit--that's because I forgot to bring along a proper knife to the event location (a good sharp chef's knife is best), and had to use a small ceramic knife that was a little too thick to get a nice clean cut. They still tasted amazing, though!

I'm not typically a white chocolate fan, but I really love the way it pairs against the tart lemon curd in this recipe. Even if you don't like white chocolate, I urge you to try it. It's honestly just the thing!

P.S. I recently added a feature to make it easier for your pin any of my recipes on to Pinterest. Just mouse over the photo and a button will appear for you to click and pin to your favorite boards. 

Let me know what you think, and thanks so much for sharing--it really does mean the world to me! 

You can follow me on Pinterest here



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Springtime Italian Rainbow Cookies
Depending how you cut them, this makes between 20-40 cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
8oz almond paste, grated (this is flexible--you can use between 6-10oz with same results)
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
Zest of one whole lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
hot pink, green, and yellow liquid food coloring
1 cup lemon curd (I love Dickinson's or use a homemade curd)
12oz (1 bag) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate (use the delicious kind!)
1 teaspoon Crisco or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9" square baking pans with parchment paper. You can also just do one layer at a time if you don't have multiple pans.

Cream butter and sugar in the base of a mixer for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add almond paste, extract, and lemon, and beat for 2-3 more minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, and mix into the wet ingredients until completely combined. Divide batter into three bowls and dye each a different color (I like yellow, lime green, and pink, but you can play around and use whatever colors you like!)

Spread each bowl of batter into one of the prepared pans, then bake for about 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges are a bit golden and middle is set. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.

To assemble: lay the yellow layer down then top with 1emon curd, spreading evenly out to the edges. Top with the pink layer, then spread with raspberry jam. Finally cover with the green layer. Wrap the entire stack tightly with plastic and cover with a heavy book or pan. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Place the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until melted, stirring until smooth. Stir in the Crisco until it melts and is evenly distributed (this will make it possible to cut the chocolate cleanly). Pour over the layered cake and spread evenly. Let chill in the fridge for one hour, or until completely set. Cut into 1" pieces and serve.

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