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Festive Rainbow Cookies For St. Patrick’s Day (So Cute!)

These Rainbow Cookies are the perfect, colorful, fun idea for the little leprechaun in your life on St. Patrick’s Day. Happy St. Patrick’s Day – and don’t forget, according to legend, the leprechaun’s pot of gold is hidden at the end of the rainbow. Hopefully these St. Patrick’s Day Cookies will bring you plenty of good luck!

Creating this Rainbow Cookies for for St Patrick’s Day

If I had to pick a recipe that I’ve made so far this year that was most popular with the kids I would have to say it was these Rainbow Slice and Bake Cookies that I tested out for St. Patrick’s Day.

And not just because my kids love a sweet treat, but because they thought that this was the coolest looking cookie recipe I have ever baked for them and had so much fun helping me!

photo of st. patrick's day rainbow cookies

Because, according to legend, the leprechaun’s pot of gold is hidden at the end of a rainbow I thought it would be the perfect time to come up with a cute treat for the kids to eat on St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the benefits of what I do is that I get double the holiday fun because I have to test out recipes before hand so I can share them with all of you! I didn’t make the entire batch at once and froze half of the dough for later because we didn’t need that many cookies at once.

It worked out perfect because I didn’t have time to make anything extra (like the Lemon Coconut Cupcakes we had for our family party) for Logan to take to his kindergarten class for his birthday last week.

Instead, I baked up some of these fun treats. Everyone was impressed and this fun cookie recipe turned out to be the perfect treat for the classroom!

Tools Needed to Make these Rainbow St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

Here are some of my suggested kitchen tools that are helpful when preparing this St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Recipe:

  • Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons – for measuring all of the ingredients.
  • Electric Mixer – you’ll use both the whisk attachment and paddle attachment at different steps during the cookie dough preparation.
  • Spatula – for scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl while making the dough.
  • Kitchen Scale – this helps when dividing the dough into even portions for coloring.
  • Small Bowls – for mixing the coloring in the individual layers
  • Hand Mixer or Mixing Spoon – for mixing the colorant into the dough portions.
  • Ziploc Bags or Plastic Wrap – to package the dough for refrigeration.
  • Parchment Paper – for rolling the dough out into rectangles.
  • Sharp Knife – for slicing the cookie pieces.
  • Cutting Board – to place the cookie dough on for cutting.
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet – I like rimmed cookie sheets for baking the cookies; they don’t slide off the edge this way.
  • Wire Rack – a cooling rack is essential for cooling these St Patrick’s Day cookies.
photo of rainbow slice and bake cookies with a glass of milk

Ingredients to Make Rainbow Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day

Here’s a quick ingredient checklist of what you’ll need to prepare these cute St. Patrick’s Day Sugar Cookies:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sugar
  • Large Eggs
  • Egg Yolks
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Gel Food Coloring – gel food coloring is better for vibrant colors. I use Americolor Gel Food Coloring Kit.

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cookies

  1. Before beginning, line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat at medium-high speed, for about 2 minutes.
  3. After that, add the whole eggs and 2 yolks, continuing to mix until combined at medium speed.
  4. Next, stir in the vanilla extract and vanilla.
  5. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk until sifted.
  6. After that, add the separate bowl of the flour mixture to the butter mixture about 1 cup at a time, stirring with the paddle attachment over low speed to incorporate each cup. Do not over mix.
  7. Divide dough into six equal portions – it helps if you have a kitchen scale for this.
  8. Then, using gel food coloring, color each layer a color of the rainbow, starting with red food coloring. I used a hand mixer to combine the color in with each dough section and then rinsed the bowl and beaters before moving on to another color.
  9. Next, place dough in individual ziplock bags or saran wrap and refrigerate until firm, about an hour or two.
  10. One at a time, roll colors into a thin layer, approximately 6×9 inch rectangles.
  11. After that, refrigerate each layer after rolling. Then, layer the cookies sections in rainbow color order, starting with the red layer.
  12. Then, when all layers have been stacked, trim edges for a neat rectangle. Wrap again in saran wrap and freeze until very firm.
  13. Slice strips across the 6 inch side about 1/4 inch thick. You will get approximately 24 strips.
  14. Cut each strip in half for a total of approximately 48 small rectangular cookies.
  15. Lastly, place cookies on the prepared pans and freeze again (this helps minimize spreading).

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Tips for Making Layered Rainbow Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day

  • Use this tutorial for How to Separate Eggs if you don’t know how.
  • Make sure you soften your butter in advance.
  • Out of Baking Powder? You can Make Your Homemade Baking Powder.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl often when making the dough for these St. Patrick’s Day Cookies.
  • Make sure to chill the dough before baking. Cold dough will hold it’s shape and spread a lot less compared to room temperature dough.
  • Dip one end of the cookie in gold sprinkles to represent the gold at the end of the rainbow.
  • Put some gold coins in small pots of gold at the rainbow’s end for an extra festive treat!

How to Store These Rainbow Cookies

After baking this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Cookies, let them completely cool until they’re at room temperature. Then, transfer the cookies to an airtight container and store at room temperature. These fun cookies will last for about 3-5 days when stored sealed.

Other Ways to Use this Rainbow Cookie Recipe

Colored cookie recipes like these Rainbow Slice and Bake cookies are easily adaptable for different events! You can use this same method for slice and bake cookies with any colors of your choosing to celebrate your favorite holidays. Here are some ideas:

  • Red and green layers for Christmas
  • Orange and black layers for Halloween
  • Red, White, and Blue for 4th of July.
  • School colors to show school spirit for an event.
  • Flag colors for any cause you support.

I know some of you may be thinking – what about all the dye in these rainbow cookies?!?! Well, from my perspective I figure that my kids are eating this type of thing only once or twice a year so it’s alright.

If possible, use gel food coloring instead of the traditional food coloring found in grocery stores. Gel food coloring produces vibrant color results with just a small amount of dye.

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Inspiration

Looking for more recipes and fun ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Here are a few of our favorite ideas and popular recipes to consider for your St. Patrick’s Day Party:

Colcannon is an Irish mashed potato recipe combined with leeks and kale.

This Oven Baked Glazed Corned Beef is a fun take on the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. Rather than stewing in the CrockPot all day, the homemade corned beef is braised with plenty of seasonings before broiling in the oven with a delicious honey marmalade mustard glaze.

This Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon is pure comfort food. The macaroni noodles are coated in a creamy cheese sauce that is loaded with sharp Irish cheddar cheese and fresh parmesan.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic are a fantastic side dish that is full of delicious flavor — caramelized, roasted Brussels sprouts, savory bacon, and tangy balsamic vinegar.

Your kids will love checking out these 30 St. Patrick’s Day Read Aloud Books! Nothing says luck of the Irish like reading these St. Patrick’s Day books and enjoying a little treat afterwards!

This Reuben Sandwich is a great way to use up leftover St. Patrick’s Day corned beef. 

Still need more ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Check out my favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipe ideas: from green foods, like Brussels sprouts and kale, to traditional foods for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. Make your St. Patrick’s Day meal a special occasion for the whole family with these menu ideas.

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What is your favorite way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day?

rainbow slice and bake cookies

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cookies

Yield: approximately 48 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

These Rainbow Slice and Bake Cookies are the perfect, colorful, fun idea for the little leprechaun in your life on St. Patrick’s Day. Happy St. Patrick’s Day – and don’t forget, according to legend, the leprechaun’s pot of gold is hidden at the end of the rainbow.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 whole eggs yolks
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat well, for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the whole eggs and 2 yolks, continuing to mix until combined.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk until sifted.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture about 1 cup at a time, stirring with the paddle attachment (not the whisk) to incorporate each cup. Do not over mix.
  6. Divide the dough into six equal portions - it helps if you have a kitchen scale for this.
  7. Using gel food coloring (gel works so much better for vibrant colors than standard food coloring), color each layer a color of the rainbow. I used a hand mixer to combine the color in with each dough section and then rinsed the bowl and beaters before moving on to another color.
  8. Place dough in individual ziplock bags or saran wrap and refrigerate until firm, about an hour or two.
  9. One at a time, roll colors into approximately 6x9 inch rectangles.
  10. Refrigerate each layer after rolling, and then add subsequent layers on top in rainbow color order.
  11. When all layers have been stacked, trim edges for a neat rectangle. Wrap again in saran wrap and freeze until very firm.
  12. Slice strips across the 6 inch side about 1/4 inch thick. You will get approximately 24 strips.
  13. Cut each strip in half for a total of approximately 48 small rectangular cookies.
  14. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze again (this helps minimize spreading).
  15. When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees.
  16. Bake cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 6-10 minutes.
  17. Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  18. Cool the cookie sheet in between baking each batch.

Notes

Leftover dough can be stored in the freezer for a few weeks.

cookie recipe from i am mommy


Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving Calories 259Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 69mgSodium 123mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 1gSugar 17gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Andrea

Thursday 25th of June 2020

These are very time consuming, but if you are patient they ARE doable! And so cute when done!

Things to note: -The dough is very sticky. Do not attempt in humid or hot kitchen. -Rolling out the layers takes some practice. Make sure the dough is very cold!! -I needed to heavily flour both my working surface and my rolling pin. -I taped out the 6x9 square on my countertop, then laid a Silpat mat overtop (clear, so I could see the rectangle underneath). - I heavily floured the Silpat mat and rolling pin and rolled out ONE layer at a time (only take one color out of the fridge at a time!) -Work quickly. If it goes awry you can always patch areas of the rectangle. You can also pop in the freezer so that the dough is workable again if you want to start over. -Once you have your first layer, have a baking sheet lined with a large piece of Saran Wrap ready! SLOWLY peel the layer of dough from the Silpat, gently laying onto the Saran. It can get stuck at this stage, even with all the flour.. Mine did, so I had to go slow. It was like the motion of slowly peeling a bandaid or sticker, if that makes sense. -Repeat with the following colors, careful to line up the next color with the previous one as best you can, but of course there is trimming so don't worry too much. -When you're all stacked and trimmed, I froze over night. -When you start slicing, it WILL get too soft and hard to work with. I had to pop my layers back in the freezer every few slices to keep it easier to work with.

**If I was doing this over, I would absolutely put a layer of egg wash with a pastry brush BETWEEN layers!! I really think it would help the layers stick. As I'm slicing, colors are coming apart which, needless to say is very frustrating. I can gently place them back together, but it's more time consuming and means the final result isn't as tidy.

Katie

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I'm glad you enjoyed them despite the time consuming nature of this recipe!

Christina

Monday 18th of May 2015

I made a variation of these that were egg free and had more almond extract (posted on my site: http://maybeyoushouldsleep.com/rainbow-sugar-cookies-with-no-egg/ - they came out great! It was definitely sticky and required time and patience but they were a huge hit. Thanks for the recipe!

Sami // Poor & Pretty

Friday 13th of March 2015

Yum!!! These are so awesome! Thank you for sharing this! I included this recipe in my roundup of 17 St. Paddy’s Day Drinks & Desserts: http://bit.ly/1AvWH2p

Paulette

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

These look great! I want to make them tonight although I have a weird question. Another similar recipe says to boil the eggs and use the egg yolks already cooked. I have never seen that before but it leads me to wonder if this is what you did or did you just use the wet yolks?

Andrea

Monday 1st of April 2013

What should I do if I'm allergic to almonds?

Katie

Monday 1st of April 2013

Just leave out the almond extract. You can add extra vanilla if you like or some lemon extract.

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