Tis the season for Christmas baking!
When I was growing up Christmas was always the best time of year because, aside from all the Christmas presents, it meant Mom was going to be baking loads of delicious cookies. Cookies for family, friends, for Santa, and of course, for us kids.
Actually, come to think of it, nothing has really changed. Mom still bakes up a ton of delicious cookies, and it’s still one of my favorite things about the holidays. (Does that mean I’m still a kid at heart?)
I’ve never baked Christmas cookies. Helping Mom out in the kitchen doesn’t really count. Let’s be honest, helping Mom bake cookies is more about eating raw cookie dough, making a mess, and stealing a couple hot from the oven cookies while you don’t think Mom is looking (but just like Santa, she sees everything).
A few weeks back I heard that there was a blogger cookie swap going on. Premise seemed simple enough. If you’re a food blogger and sign up, you bake and ship a dozen cookies each to three “secret” bloggers you’re assigned. Likewise, three other bloggers secretly ship you a batch of their cookie creations. It was a fun idea so I signed up (and if you’re a blogger and would like, you can sign up for next year).
Since Christmas cookies were always my Mom’s domain, I asked her for some suggestions. She gave me one of her cookie books, a little pocket sized book Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu, suggesting I take a look through it. Bonus points to this book because it has pictures for every recipe. I’m a visual baker. I need to see what a recipe ends up looking like before I can cook it, words alone just don’t excite me.
Anyway, I came across this rainbow cookie and new right away I had to make it. Have you ever had them? They also go by the name of Italian tri-color cookies or Venetian cookies. They are a very dense, almost cake-like almond cookie covered with a bitter chocolate. I first had them a few Christmas’ ago when Nana brought a store bought package for dessert. The cookbook had claimed that they get even better a few days after baking, so they seemed a great cookie to make and share for the cookie swap.
Now I must warn you, these cookies do require a bit of effort to create. Having an 8 month old, we generally share recipes that are relatively quick and easy to complete. Rainbow cookies aren’t challenging, they are just time consuming. Spreading the three different colored cookie dough into the trays, layering them, cutting, and covering with chocolate; this was a weekend project for us spread across multiple naps. A labor of love. But absolutely worth it. I’ll be baking these again next week for my family. Who knows, maybe these Rainbow cookies will be my tradition, second only to Mom’s.
PS – Tomorrow is the last day to enter our King Arthur Sourdough Starter & Crock Set Giveaway.
Click to learn how to enter!