Rainbow Cookies

If you are what you eat, be a unicorn-approved rainbow cookie.

Sometimes, you want to eat a cookie that is beige. Sometimes, you want to eat a cookie that is the color of coffee. But me, I like my cookies the same way I prefer unicorns: full of rainbows and magic.

These cookies are incredibly easy to make, a little old-fashioned (they're based off of the Kaleidoscope Cookies in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book), and totally delicious. They taste more subtle then they look, with a basic, simple, nothin-wrong-so-why-change-it butter cookie flavor.  But the look is really what draws you in: a multicolored array of slice and bake cookies that will delight people and have them asking "how'd you do that?". 

Well, it's easy. I'll tell you how. Let's make these cookies. Right here, right now.

Easy rainbow cookies

Makes about 40 cookies, maybe more - Printable version here

  • 2 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • food coloring 
  1. Sift together the flour and salt; set to the side.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until nice and creamy. Add the sugar, and continue beating until the sugar has been absorbed (employ rubber spatula as needed). Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour mixture in 2-3 additions, mixing on low speed, using the rubber spatula as needed. You're gonna be all "this flour is never all gonna fit in this dough" but trust me, it will.
  4. Divide the dough into four equal portions (or five, if you're feeling frisky). Tint each one a different color. Go vibrant, because food coloring fades a touch in the oven.
  5. Divide each tinted portion into two equal parts.
  6. Grab one portion of each color of dough, and roll each portion into a log about 4 inches long. Press the portions together, firmly, to ensure a seal. Now, roll the multicolored log into one long log, about 12 inches long. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, so you have two logs of dough.
  7. Wrap each log with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  8. When you're ready to bake, line 2 baking sheets with parchment and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  9. Remove the dough from the fridge, and let it soften slightly. Slice into "coins", at least 1/4 inch thick, a little thicker if you like fat cookies. If the dough is flaky or the color segments are cracking as you slice, let it soften a few minutes before working with it. (you can also gently smoosh the dough back together).
  10. Place the coins on the prepared baking sheets--they won't spread much so you can put them fairly close together.
  11. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating the pans at the 4 minute mark.
  12. Once matte on top (it can be hard to tell if they are lightly browned on the sides because of the vibrant colors) remove from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Taste the rainbow!