the white rainbow – rainbow cookies

by hungryrabbit on June 24, 2011

Rainbow Cookies

NEW FLASH- On June 24, 2011, at 10:30 pm  EST, New York State legalized same-sex marriage.

White, not technically a color, is my absolute favorite non-color–especially when it comes to dinnerware and kitchenware. I have an ever expanding collection of whiteness that M fears will take over the apartment and turn it into a ceramic Antarctic.

White has other associations, such as weddings, that I can appreciate from a rainbow’s distance. Ever since realizing a few critical truths about myself at a young age, I’d given up on the idea of being one-half of a couple having such a ceremony with family and friends in attendance. One can always play dress up and make believe, but never in my teenage years did I ever think it would be part of my life.

The unattainable didn’t stop me, of course.  Just as my dislike for celebrating Valentine’s Day at a restaurant with other couples, I do not equate a wedding as a necessary step to seal the love I have for another person, in this case, M.

This possibility of a wedding never entered my mind  . . . until recent years. So far, same-sex couples can only get marry in a handful of states—a slow start, but a start.

rainbow cookies gay pride

When even the contentious UN passes an LGBT Human Rights Resolution, there’s some hope. The other recent news on the topic that could bring another dimension of white ware into our lives is the bill for same-sex marriage in New York State. It has already passed in the House and it’s up to the Senate to make it happen. Just think of the possibilities the passage would bring—correcting a civil rights imbalance and electrifying the state economy with a flood of fabulous marriage ceremonies and receptions.

As Gay Pride weekend is upon us, I can’t help but think that in order for the LGBT community to achieve the color of white nationwide, we must continue to embrace the power of the rainbow. Through diversity and individuality, we accept everyone with dignity and respect.

These Rainbow Cookies are my dedication & appreciation for everyone who has the heart to fearlessly love themselves and their partners. Have a cookie and radiate some joy. Happy Pride!

rainbow cookies gay pride

Rainbow Cookies

recipe inspired by Cook’s Illustrated
yield: about 40 cookies


2 large egg
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar (5-1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 1 lemon, freshly grated
2-1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 teaspoon large egg white , lightly beaten
food coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple


1. Place eggs in small saucepan, cover with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill small bowl with ice water. Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs to ice water and let stand 5 minutes. Crack eggs and peel shell. Separate yolks from white; discard white. Press yolks through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl.

2. Add sugar and lemon zest to a bowl. Use finger tips and rub the mixture until in resemble pale yellow wet sand.

3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar mixture, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla, and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer; add flour and mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Using rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.

4. Divide dough in six equal portions; add food coloring to each piece and mix to achieve desire color. Roll each portion, on a piece of plastic wrap, into a long strip about 3 x 11 inches, 1/4 inch thick.Wrap each strip with the plastic wrap and chill until firm, about an hour.

5. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place purple dough on a cutting board and brush with egg white. Place blue dough on top of purple and brush with egg white. Repeat with remaining dough in the order of green, yellow, orange and red (see photos). Using chef’s knife, trim edges and slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rectangles. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. (If dough is too soft when slicing, chill it for an additional 20-30 minutes.)

6. Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

rainbow cookies gay pride

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina@flourtrader June 24, 2011 at 7:26 am

These just jumped off the page when I saw them-such vibrant colors and perfectly sized layers. I have done three layers but never with the success that your cookies have. Simply awesome pics. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy June 24, 2011 at 7:36 am

Ken, the cookies are spectacular. The sentiment is spot on. Much love and well wishes for a celebratory Pride Weekend and hopefully plans for a wedding soon? xo

Meeta June 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

Your words in this post are brighter than any rainbow Ken. Having met you and Mitch there is more to you both than the colors of the rainbow. You both shine brighter than that and touch the souls of the people around you. At P2P I realized your sensitive and gentle side and this post resonates my thoughts of you. And although one does not need a ceremony to seal the love, I understand the yearning. Live life with a passion ;o)

Avril June 24, 2011 at 8:02 am

Gorgeous, and HAPPY!

Lisa (This Little Piggy) June 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

These are a visual feast on such a gray, mizzly day! Let there be love.

MikeVFMK June 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

Amen! These cookies are fabulous, Ken. Just like you. I hope NY State does the right thing so everybody has the right to marry. Everybody. Another great post!

Jackie June 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

How beautiful these are! And what a wonderful post. Love it =)

Jax x

Jackie Baisa June 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

Absolutely gorgeous cookies, and a lovely post.


Jun Belen June 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

Happy Pride, Ken! Lovely cookies and a lovely post. Here’s crossing my fingers for New York. I hope the same sex marriage bill passes! Enjoy your Pride weekend!!

Móna Wise June 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

Do you have any idea how hard it is to view this on my iPad and not let the kids see this? OMG those cookies are so vibrant! Just like! We will have to make them. I love the hard boiled egg yolk bit. Must make a difference in the texture too…..
Happy ‘pride’ weekend…….. I hope the senate does the right thing…and you get your White! But yes, embrace the rainbow for sure.

hungryrabbit June 24, 2011 at 10:21 am

Thanks for the sweet comment. The cooked egg yolk makes the cookies really crispy. You can omit the trouble of layering by just rolling the dough into logs and chill as directed.

Brian @ A Thought For Food June 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

These cookies made me so happy! As they say, say it loud, say it proud! And these gems definitely accomplish both of those.

Kimmie June 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

Beautiful post. What a moving way to incorporate white into the LGBT rainbow – not a color I would considere sought out, until now. Thank you for expanding my horizons just a bit more. May you always have your happy ending.

merry jennifer June 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

A great post, Ken. I’m hoping that NY sees the light – or in this case, the rainbow – and allows all people who love each other to express it legally.
Also? My children would KILL for rainbow cookies. These are much more fun than anything I ever make.
(ps – I’m coming to NYC again in October!)

Margaret June 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

These cookies are beautiful, just like the love and pride you have for M and the gay community. It’d be so joyful to witness you and M’s wedding so I sincerely hope NY will soon pass the same sex marriage law. Enjoy the Pride Weekend!

Aarthi June 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

wow..perfect looking cookies

Sarah @ OC2Seattle June 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

These cookies are so gorgeous and vibrant – a perfect tribute to pride week and match for your thoughtful post. My fingers are crossed that the New York Senate will follow the House and make same-sex marriage a reality in New York. And that the rest of the country will see the light, follow suit and end this hurtful discrimination. Happy Pride! – Sarah

serena @bigapplenosh June 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

These cookies are so bright and cheery! Absolutely gorgeous :)

April June 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I hope NY passes same sex marriage law and I will make your white cake for you and M! Thanks for sharing!


JoAnn June 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Happy Pride from Canada! June 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Beautiful cookies Ken! And happy that NYC is now as cool as Canada! =)

Lana June 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and so happy for many of my friends who will be able to say “I do!” in NY. I just wish that California would start listening:(
Your vibrant, bold, and multi-colored cookies say everything – words are not necessary:) They are beautiful and they would be devoured in my home:)

Renee - Kudos Kitchen June 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

Beautiful! In so many ways.

Thalia June 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

Love these!! I am totally going to make them next weekend!

foodwanderings June 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

So happy I waited with the comment. Your wedding was trending even b4 you got the Winston rock, can you imagine what will happen when you are all in white under the chuppah an we dance the hora?! btw, me being a yente, no cash bar we thetribe are generous with the checks lol & as I said you don’t want the yentes to talk behind your back. lol & all this under the assumption that I am invited.:)

Simone June 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

That’s great news Ken! Now I’m just waiting for the announcement of you and M to get married and you can have me over to take the photos… :) It’s been quite common here in Holland, same sex marriages and I’ve even had the honor to document one last year so for me it’s nothing new. I sometimes forget that it is not so easy in other countries…
Love those cookies too!

Annissa June 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Awesome cookies!
Quick question though – when is the flour added?! Is it added with the butter, sugar mixture, salt, and cooked egg yolk, or is it added with the vanilla?


hungryrabbit June 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Thank you Annissa for pointing that out. I’ve corrected the mistake and the recipe is good to go.

susan June 26, 2011 at 12:38 am

these are totally fabulous! I love all things cooks illustrated and you did an amazing job executing!

Nicole @ itsfeedingtimeatthezoo June 26, 2011 at 1:07 am

Wow, these look so amazing. Really lovely photography and gorgeous cookies. Thanks!

EL OTEADOR DE LOS MERCADOS June 26, 2011 at 3:58 am

Some cookies perfect for a special celebration.

Salomé June 26, 2011 at 4:09 am

Your post is in Mis Favoritas de la semana, you can see it at
I hope you to like it!

hungryrabbit June 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

Thank you Salomé for featuring my cookie. I’m honored to be among the selection of gorgeous creations.

Paul @ THE BASICS Magazine June 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

Those are amazing and must have taken a long time to make. Great job and Happy Pride.

Barbara | Creative Culinary June 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

Just like the journey towards true equality, it’s evident your cookies have many layers, lots of colors and take some time and patience to complete. They are a most fitting tribute to this time of celebration.

Suzie June 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Wow, these are gorgeous!!!! they look flawless! so vibrant. Happy gay pride day here in San Francisco. These would be a hit here today!

Lynne June 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Simply gorgeous. Here’s hoping that there is the wedding of your dreams (white or technicolored) in your future.

SMITH BITES June 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

i love these cookies almost as much as i love you and your spirit Ken; i feel as if i really ‘know’ you even though we’ve not had the pleasure of actually meeting IRL . . . doesn’t matter because i know we’re destined to be life-long friends. and i do hope and pray that the day comes when you and Mitch will be able to marry – i want to be there to raise a glass and toast your happiness!! fabulous cookies too!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I LOVE these cookies! What a beautiful treat on such a joyous weekend. I never, ever thought I’d see the day when multiple states legalized gay marriage. Hopefully the momentum will carry over to the South one day!

Lauren June 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I made these yesterday for my (very much a lesbian) best friend’s birthday, and they are amazing. The taste is so unexpectedly fantastic. I doubled the amount of lemon zest and omitted pre-cooking the egg yolk (why would you do that…? just blend the yolks with the sugar).
It’s important when you’re cutting to use a really good knife and to keep the dough cold enough that it doesn’t warp. Don’t be afraid to cut off the excess on the sides of the dough block, because that is the only way the cookies will turn out precisely straight.
SO good while warm… the smell is amazing, and the outside has a slight crunch that gives to a pillowy interior. Thank you for the recipe!

Lora June 29, 2011 at 6:41 am

Hooray for NY State. wonderful post and lovely cookies!

hungryrabbit June 29, 2011 at 7:08 am

Thanks Lauren for visiting my blog, I’m glad you enjoyed these colorful cookies. The cooked egg yolk gives you a crispier cookie without the soft center. Give it a try next time to compare the texture.

Maureen June 29, 2011 at 8:10 am

What gorgeous little cookies!! Yay NY !! I’m hoping Georgia follows.

saltyseattle June 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hey darling- I am late to the game and just spotted these pride cookies- I LOVE them so. In fact I foresee nudie foodies two wherein Ken is covered from head-to-toe in beautiful little edible rainbows…

SweetsugarBelle June 30, 2011 at 5:30 am

Ken!!!! These made my heart flutter. FLUTTER, can you see me palpatating…PS, I also have a white dish problem…but back to cookies. Just gorgeous!

krissy July 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

WOW!!! I’ve actually made “rainbow cookies” before….but they were HARD!!! LOL!! I really made the “rainbows”, arched and all….and it took FOREVER!!!! This seems soooo much easier!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! <3 I may make these for a friend of mine's bachelor/bachelor party!!! They would LOVE them!!!!! <3

Gail July 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Followed a link on facebook to find how to make your beautiful cookies! Though I choose to be single, I still believe love is a beautiful thing, no matter what flavor it is. Congrats on finding your love!

melanie July 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Is there a way you could talk pictures step by step? These look amazing and I really would like to do them, but I’m not sure. Step by step pictures I think would help tremendously. Thank you.

hungryrabbit July 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Hi Melanie, unfortunately I didn’t have time to take photos of the process. Make sure you roll out each colored dough between two plastic wraps and chill, chill, chill the dough.

Jeanne @ CookSister! July 11, 2011 at 8:09 am

Love, love, LOVE this post Ken. So eloquent – and all the more meaningful now that I have met both you and M. Can’t imagine you ever living your life in any other way than loud, proud and gorgeous and so glad that another option has opened up for you. In awe of the cookies!! You should sell them :o)

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