Color & Control:

Matcha, Red Bean, and Almond Rainbow Cookies


A truly great rainbow cookie condenses three delicate layers of moist almond cake into a bitesize treat with a crackly, paper-thin chocolate encasing. In this spin, blogger and host of Girl Meets Farm Molly Yeh rethinks the format with a layer of grassy green matcha cake and an auburn layer made with red bean paste. It’s all threaded together with a soft almond flavor and the classic dark chocolate finish.

3 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces almond paste, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
1/4 cup fine red bean paste
red food coloring
3 tablespoons apricot or raspberry jam
4 ounces dark chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8-inch-by-4- inch loaf pans and line them with parchment paper that comes at least 2 inches up the sides of the pan— these little wings will help you lift the cookie out of the pan. If you don’t have 3 loaf pans, you can bake the layers in batches.

2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, and then, with the mixer running on medium, gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat to stiff peaks. Set them aside.

3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, almond paste, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the yolks, one at a time, beating well after each is added. Beat in the lemon juice and almond extract, then reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add the flour. Mix to combine.

4. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the egg whites. Transfer a third of the mixture to one of the loaf pans, and use a small offset spatula to spread it out evenly. Transfer another third of the mixture to a separate bowl, and fold in the matcha powder. Fold the red bean paste and a couple of drops of red food coloring into the remaining third. Transfer these into the remaining 2 loaf pans, spread them out evenly, and then bake them until the tops are just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then lift them out and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Stack the loaves up with 1 1/2 tablespoons jam between each layer. Wrap the loaf firmly in plastic wrap, weigh it down with a couple of heavy cookbooks, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or overnight.

6. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or by microwaving it for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until it’s smooth. Remove it from heat and stir continuously until it is no longer hot. Spread it over the top and sides of the cake loaf and stick it in the refrigerator to firm up for about 15 minutes. Cut into 1” slices and then cut each of those slices in half to make 16 cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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