When my cousin asked for rainbow cupcake for her 16th birthday, I got really excited, eager to give it a go. I never got around to it, what with my own birthday party planning, and her mom ended up making her a gorgeous and massive rainbow layer cake. I still hadn’t given her a birthday present yet, so I was still keen to do my baking bit. I decided cookies were just as good as cupcakes.
I went with a simple sugar cookie recipe, making sure it was the kind that asks you to “chill” your dough (wanting a more stable roll-able mix) – I wanted to roll my dough up and cut cookies as slices of the sausage. This only kind of worked…
I separated my basic sugar cookie dough into four doughballs, and worked on colouring them, which proved to be a bit of a messy challenge, but was rather therapeutic, and they came out beautiful in the end.
I used two different methods to make my cookies, and I definitely preferred the more simple one, because it was A) easier, and B) looked prettier because there was more of an even distribution of colour, rather than mostly green.
In the first method, I took half of each colour, and I rolled it out flat. I placed the layers on top of one another, rolled it together some more, and then rolled it all up into a great big sausage, ready to be chilled.
After chilling, I sliced it up, and placed it on the baking tray, ready to be baked. It was at this point that I realised that they were too green.
The baked and finished product with this method wasn’t too bad, but by the time I had retrieved these, I was already in love with the other batch.
I would definitely make the layers thicker next time (if I attempted this method again) so that there is a fat layer of each colour as it spirals. Like the delicious biscotti’s you get with coffee.
My second attempt just basically had me taking a pinch of each colour, and mushing it together so that you can see a lot of each colour. This was a faster method, and it looks far prettier.
Rainbow Cookies Recipe (original sugar cookie recipe found here)
Makes 30 cookies
- 3/4 Cups softened butter
- 1 Cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 Cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4x 2 tsp of your chosen food colouring colours
- Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, mixing well
- Mix in the baking powder, salt and flour. You should be left with a fairly crumbly mixture that will stick together much more easier once the food colouring is added.
- Separate dough into 4 batches
- Add chosen colour to each batch, mixing in each colour into its batch well and washing hands between batches. The crumbly mixture will become more dough-like as you are mixing it.
- Chill dough balls for half an hour
- Either roll dough out and form layers that are rolled up into a sausage to be chilled for an hour, OR take a pinch of dough, about the size of a cherry from each coloured batch, and squish together, making sure the colours don’t blend together. This can be done by rolling colours all together into one ball and pressing flat to the size of the cookie that you want. Place these on a baking tray and chill for an hour
- Place cookies into a preheated oven at 200 degrees C, and bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven
- Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool
Note: My gran finds that our oven takes forever to cook things (I think she’s crazy), so your time may be shorter than mine. Just keep an eye out that the edges of your cookies don’t start to go too brown (this could ruin the rainbow effect completely — have you ever seen a rainbow with brown in it?)