Dear Readers,

How many of you remember Reading Rainbow? Even as I am typing now the jingle of the series is ringing through my head and the image of the butterfly appearing from the opening book pages are so vivid in my mind. The whole message of the show radiates the opportunity to open your mind and explore the possibilities for creativity. Through sharing ideas with others, we create a space of vulnerability to grow and learn. Reading Rainbow demonstrated this concept to me. In one episode, the host went to a professional makeup artist to learn about his profession. This artist created makeup/ prosthetic masks on performers and demonstrated his art through transforming the host’s youthful face into that of an old man. I was captivated by the next several frames where masking pieces and various other makeup products were applied in construction of a new appearance. The end result was a youthful man in his thirties aged into a character of an eighty-year-old man. I was so impressed and inspired that I immediately announced to my parents that I wanted to do this for a living! Create masks for the great directors of the world like Steven Spielberg. This moment is among many that have helped shape my identity as an artist. I am forever grateful for all the people in my life that continue to inspire and shape me through sharing their creativity as well as their hunger to grow and learn. It is so important to share our creativity and imagination with others because it allows us to expand and reach new heights. I reminisce on this memory of my childhood so fondly because it opened another door to my creative spirit.

To compliment this sweet memory, I have included a recipe for rainbow cookies. As with the memory I just shared, these cookies always make me smile. I hope they do the same for you!

Love Always,
Kristina Lucia xoxo

Rainbow Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES:

  •       2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •       6 large eggs separated (I personally like to use Jumbo eggs)
  •       1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  •       12 ounces of almond paste, chopped in cubes
  •       2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •       1 teaspoon red food coloring
  •       1 teaspoon green food coloring
  •       1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •       ¾ cup of marmalade heated and strained
  •       8 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate melted 

·       Special Equipment: 3 13X9X2” metal baking pans

PREPARATION

  1.   Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line three baking pans with tin foil and grease bottom with butter.  (An alternative is using a butter spray.
  2.   In stand mixer, whisk egg whites till soft peaks are formed.  Gradually add 1/3 cup of sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Transfer to an alternate bowl, cover, and place in the fridge to chill.  
  3.   In stand mixer, beat almond paste and remaining sugar at a medium speed until fully combined.  Gradually add butter to the mixture.  Beat until light and fully.
  4.   To this mixture beat in egg yolks, flour, and salt. Once fully combined, fold egg whites gradually into the batter.
  5.   Divide the batter into three bowls.  One bowl will remain plain.  Add red food coloring to the second bowel and green food coloring to the third.  
  6.   Spread each batter into a respective pan.  Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes or until just set.  
  7.   Once cooled in the pans, spread with a pastry brush half the heated/ strained marmalade over a layer.  Flip/ place a second layer on top.  Repeat the process with spreading the last half of marmalade over the second layer and flipping/ placing the third layer on top.  
  8.   Top with a baking pan and weigh down with several canned goods to compress the cake layers.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I personally recommend overnight).
  9.   Once chilled and compressed, remove the cans and pan and spread half of the chocolate over the top layer of the cake.  Freeze for about 10 minutes to ensure chocolate is set. Flip cake and repeat the same process so that both sides are glazed with chocolate.  
  10. Now it is time to slice these cake cookies into bite size pieces. 

11. Eat and enjoy with loved ones J