Unicorns, especially rainbow-hued ones are trending. Impish, pastel colored sugar cookies are another sort of gold at the end of the rainbow and another sort of unicorn but unlike Starbucks Unicorn Frappe, these cookies are around as long as you continue to bake them. Roll up a stack of different colored doughs into a log. Then slice in round cookies, and then half again to form rainbow shapes and bake. These are bakery style, dense, buttery and crisp cookies that capture your eye and your heart in a single glance.
1/4 cup shortening or unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
3 ½, approximately, all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
3-4 food color tints
Egg whites, whisked
Cream the shortening and butter with the sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well. Fold the baking powder, salt, and flour while drizzling in the cream. Mix to get a firm dough. Divide dough into four portions and place each in a bowl or on a parchment paper on the counter. Knead some food coloring into each one, tinting them red, purpose, yellow, pink –or as per your taste. Wrap each portion and chill 15 minutes.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll out each portion of dough on a lightly floured parchment paper sheet to about 1/4 inch thickness. Brush one portion with egg white and then peel off the paper of another color portion of dough and stack it on the one on the board. Repeat, to stack up all four colors/dough portions. Using parchment paper underneath as a rolling aid, roll up the dough into a log. Wrap well and chill 15 minutes.
Cut the log into ½ circles (less for thinner crisp cookies, ½ inch or a bit more for dense, chewy centered ones). Cut each cookie (which is round) in half to make a rainbow shape. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Dust with sugar if desired.
Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15-18 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Makes 30-45 cookies, depending on size and thickness
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