Updated: Jun 19, 2021
If ever you need to bake yourself some sunshine, these sugar-cookie-like beauties are the ultimate way to go! Personally, soft cookies have never been my go-to, but if you're like me, these cookies are about to change your mind! They're unique with their special crispy outside that makes all the difference! Colorful, cute, and insanely fun to make, this is one of my proudest recipes this website. Enjoy!
Yields 42 1 & 1/2 inch half moon cookies
If you're gonna half this recipe (which I don't recommend), I highly suggest halving the amount of colors you dye the dough as well. Doing so will make rolling out and constructing the rainbow 100 times easier. The first time I made this, I halved the recipe and had a hell of a time trying not to roll each color too thin yet have them be long enough to cover the previous color. Its practically impossible with so little dough. If this sounds confusing now, trust me, it'll make sense when you're actually doing it.
I also recommend to use parchment paper and not a silicone baking mat to bake them on. I've found that cookies tend to spread out more on the silicone than on paper. However, if you want them softer, cooking them on silicone will help that. I make this recipe with ingredients that help prevent spreading, so don't worry, you won't end up with flat sloppy, burnt rainbows.
When you're rolling the colors of dough together to construct the rainbow (in step 8), aim to roll the dough out about 1/2 cm thick. Too thin will make it very difficult to work with and too thick will leave you with fewer, but larger cookies that require a longer bake time.
Lastly, you'll see that the ingredients list below calls for 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch and 1/2 tbsp corn starch. If you only have one of the two, you can use a full tbsp of either one. Same goes with the white and brown sugar.
1 & 1/4 cup Eli's gluten free baking flour
1/2 tsp guar gum or xantham gum
1/2 tbsp tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp powder sugar, sifted
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (you can use extract too. I haven't tried it though to say its 100 percent fine in this recipe).
1/3 cup vegetable oil (canola oil or melted shortening would work too)
3 tbsp plant milk (or dairy milk for a not non-dairy or vegan option)
1. Whisk the oil, sugars, and milk in a small bowl.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients together ( I had about 1 1/2 cups total dry)
3. Combine the dry, by small increments, into the wet mixture.
4. When its come together almost fully, kneed the dough out on a silicone mat oranother surface. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to make it easier to work with (optional)
5. Form the dough into as perfect of a ball you can. With a knife, divide the dough into thirds, then into six balls. (if you're doing a different number of layers, then just divide the dough into that number. Just keep the fact that you're doing a different number of layers in mind when you're rolling out the dough and constructing the log). You can also use a food scale to more accurately divide the dough.
Thirds Cutting each third in half
6. Now, adjust all 6 balls of dough so that they increase in size as you go. You want the one that's gonna be at the center of your rainbow (for me, this was blue) to be the smallest dough of ball, and you want the one that's gonna be the outer-most part of your rainbow (was plain white for mine) to be the largest ball of dough. Make sure they aren't too close in size to each other.
7. Using your finger to make a hole in each ball of dough, add your food dye appropriately to each one and knead until the color is smooth. If they have a shiny appearance now, dust them with flour. Some food dyes will cause this. They'll probably look like play dough now, but trust me, they taste much better. Refrigerate them all for 5-10 minutes.
8. Fill a little dish with water for dipping your fingers into. Put on disposable gloves (optional) and use your fingers to spread a little water onto a silicone mat or whatever your work surface is (this will help stop your dough from tearing when you're rolling them out).
9. Roll out your inner-most color (which was blue for me) into a thin log. Roll out the next color (mine was green) into a flat rectangle, as squared off as you have the patience to make it. Don't roll it too thin (ideally it'll be no less than 1/4 cm thick). Roll the previous color into the most recent color (blue inside green). Repeat this process with the following colors, until you have covered the log with all of your colors.
10. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. Cut the rough ends of your log off so you can now see the all the colors on each end. Using this to guide you, cut vertically down the middle of your log all the way through. It should look like this:
12. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Line the 2 semi-logs parallel to each other on a cutting board and cut them at the same time into 1/4 inch half circle disks. Cutting them at the same time helps maintain uniformity. You can even use a ruler to ensure they're all the same thickness. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
13. Bake for 10 minutes, let cool and enjoy! They pair great with some milk!
Please comment below or reach me on Instagram @eats.by.eli if you have questions, if you have made this recipe, and if so, what you thoughts were! Best wishes!