These St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cookies are so fun to make! They are a perfect cooking activity with your children. My grandkids and I made these and had a blast mixing up the cookie dough with the different colors and rolling them up to refrigerate. After they were set, we took them out and rolled them out and stacked them on top of each other in a long rectangle. Then we cut our rainbows and both children had the most amazed faces as they watched the magical outcome.
How to Make St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cookies
1. You need six colors to make these St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cookies, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. I like the gel colors you can buy at a craft store or a speciality cake shop. The gel colors are so vibrant and mix into the dough evenly to make beautiful rainbows.
2. When making cookies, it is always best to put the butter and sugar(s) in a stand mixer and beat them together for four minutes. Beat on a high speed. There is something magical that happens when you do this. Often recipes call this step creaming. That is exactly what happens. The sugar crystals become incorporated into the butter and make a light, fluffy cookie dough. I always set a timer for four minutes while the butter and sugar are creaming.
3. Measure the the dry ingredients and put them in a bowl. I do this while the sugars and butter are beating for four minutes. It surprises me these cookies only have 1/2 teaspoon of soda and salt. It is plenty and they puff up nicely.
4. Add the eggs one at a time. Breaking the eggs in a small bowl prevents any broken shells in your cookies. If the shells break, it is so much easier to get them out of the bowl instead of the cookie dough. You will find you have less shell portions if you break the egg on the counter than on the edge of the bowl.
5. Mix 1/2 cup flour at a time into the butter mixture until all dry ingredients are incorporated. This is a thick dough. If you start with the whip attachment, which I recommend, halfway through adding the flour, switch it to the paddle attachment. This dough needs all the flour. Do not skimp! The cookie dough has to be stiff to withstand the mixing of the colors and then being rolled out and stacked on top of each other.
6. Divide the dough into six balls. I use my kitchen scale to weigh the total amount of dough. Then I divide it by six. Each time I have made this, I get six balls of dough that weigh about 6 oz.
7. Smash the balls into flat discs and then put three drops of food coloring on each disc, using a different color on each disc, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. This is when it gets fun! Your children will love mushing the dough together until you get all the color incorporated. It is nice to have children helping, because this can take a little while to do.
8. Once the dough is mixed, roll into a tube shape and cover with parchment/wax paper and twist closed on the end like a Tootsie Roll. This is something my mother always did. I like the log form because it makes it easy to roll out. After being in the refrigerator for two hours, I take them out and unwrap them and then smash them into a flat, rectangular shape.
If the color is not completely mixed in, it is okay. By the time, you roll out color and stack them, the color will be mixed well enough.
9. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a long rectangle, 4-5 inches wide by 18-24 inches long. You want the dough very thin because you will be stacking five other colors on top. This does not have to be perfect. You will be slicing it later and if there are cracks, you will not even notice it.
10. Keep rolling out the different colors and lay them on top of each other. I always like to start with violet. Then I roll out the blue on parchment paper and flip it over on top of the violet layer. Then I do the green, yellow, orange and last I rollout the red.
11. Once the color rectangles are stacked on each other, I trim the rectangle so all the edges are straight and lined up. This is when it gets fun. I love seeing the rainbow colors all stacked up. It makes me so happy!
12. Use a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife and cut across the rectangle. Now you have a strip of dough that can be bent into a rainbow. You can keep the whole strip to make larger cookies or cut it in half and make smaller rainbows.
Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner. I want to know how it turns out.
St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cookies
- 1 Cup Butter
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 3 1/4 Cups Flour
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 3 Drops Gel Food in the following colors, Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red
- Mix butter and sugars for four minutes with whip attachment.
- Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture. Then add vanilla.
- Put all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Change out the whip attachment for the paddle attachment.
- Gradually add flour mixture to cookie dough. This dough is stiff. Make sure to add all the flour.
- Divide the dough into six equal parts.
- Mix 3 drops of color into each of the dough balls. Mix until color is well incorporated.
- Once color is mixed in, wrap the dough in parchment paper.
- Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to make the cookies, preheat oven to 350°.
- Roll out each color into a long rectangle, 4 – 5 inches wide and 18-24 long.
- Stack each color on top of each other. The color order, starting from the bottom, is purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red on top.
- Trim the edges and then cut across the rectangle.
- Bend the cookie dough into a rainbow shape and place on a greased cookie sheet for a large cookie. Cut in half for a smaller cookie.
- Use the back of a spatula to push cookie flat.
- Bake for 14 minutes for big cookies and 10 minutes for smaller cookies.