Italian Rainbow Cookies for the Holidays!
VEGAN HOLIDAY RECIPE MAKEOVER
Want to indulge, but not overindulge in a treat this holiday season. Try this fun-to-make made-over recipe that tastes yummy but isn’t as painful around the waistline. Lots of steps, but easy to make!
A usual Italian rainbow cookie recipe is made with up to 3 sticks of butter, 1 cup of sugar (plus extra found in some of the ingredients), 4 eggs and a lot of artificial food coloring.
To give this recipe a vegan makeover, here’s what I did:
- Used only ¾ cups of plant-based butter – replaced the rest with 1 ½ bananas and 1 cup of apple sauce.
- Cut the sugar in half and used maple sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
- Used organic, unbleached flour.
- Subbed out the egg for aquafaba.
- Used 100% fruit juice sweetened jam instead of cane sugar sweetened.
- Used low sugar oat milk chocolate chips – the closer to zero grams of sugar, the better!
- Replaced the artificial colors with natural coloring (e.g. made from beet root).
This recipe contains about 1/3rd of the saturated fat of the non-vegan recipe, has no cholesterol and contains less than ½ the amount of sugar.
Servings: Makes 36 cookies – serving size is 2 cookies
- 3/4 cup plant-based butter
- 1 ½ – 2 ripened bananas – pureed
- 1/3 cup maple sugar OR 1/6 cup maple sugar and 1/6 cup turbinado sugar.
- 7 ounces almond paste
- ¼ cup soy or almond milk
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups organic, unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour 1-1)
- 1/3 cup aquafaba
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Red and green natural food colorings
- ½ cup 100% fruit juice sweetened raspberry jam
- ½ cup low sugar vegan chocolate chips
- Add parchment paper to 3 medium size baking sheets.
- Preheat oven to 350° (375°if you live in altitude).
- Put butter, sugar and banana into a large sized bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until the sugar has fully dissolved in the butter.
- Add the butter mixture to a food processor. Break almond paste into pieces and add to the butter mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth and firm.
- Place mixture back into the bowl. Add in dairy free milk, apple sauce, and almond and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, blend together until mixed well and smooth.
- Fold in the flour a little at a time until you have a well-blended dough.
- In a small bowl, beat the aquafaba and cream of tarter with a hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Fold it into the dough mixture and stir until it is fully mixed.
- Divide the dough evenly into 3 bowls. Add 7-8 drops of red food coloring to one bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 7-8 drops of green food coloring to the other bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave one bowl plain.
- Pour the red dough batter onto a baking sheet. Use a spatula or knife to spread the dough until it reaches the edge of the pan. It will be a very thin layer.
- Repeat step 9 with the green dough and then the plain dough.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes (8-10 minutes in altitude). Cookie dough is ready when you insert a toothpick into the dough, and it comes out clean.
- Allow the sheets to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, cut each dough recipe into two even halves. Then fold one half over onto the other half (using the parchment paper) and line them up as evenly as possible.
- Starting with the green cookie/cake, spread ¼ cup of the jam on top. Carefully transfer the white dough and place on top of the green layer. Top the white cookie/cake with the other ¼ cup of jam. Lastly carefully place the red cookie/cake on top.
- Cover the top red layer with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator. Place heavy books on top of it and let chill for 3-4 hours.
- Once chilled, remove the books and then remove recipe from the refrigerator. Melt chocolate and spread ½ of it (I used less) onto the red layer cookie/cake. Fully cover the red layer.
- Place back in the refrigerator and chill until chocolate hardens (about 10-15 minutes).
- Carefully flip the cookie/cake over and spread the remaining amount of chocolate on the bottom layer. Refrigerate again for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice into approximately 36 cookies. Please note: the chocolate and jam may have dripped over the side, so make sure to cut that off so you can see the vibrant colors. Enjoy!