Tricolor cookies, Napoleon cookies, seven layer cookies, Italian flag cookies… regardless of what you call them, the almond flavored, chocolate covered, sponge cake squares I refer to as Rainbow Cookies are one of my very favorites (along with the Black & White Cookie and my mother’s chocolate chip). So, for a recent spring brunch party, I decided to make my own jello shot versions. Pink, white and green layers of almond flavored sweetened condensed milk spiked with cake flavored vodka and topped with creamy, gelatinized chocolate liqueur was as good as the real thing… and better if you consider that they were laden with booze!
For the tricolor layers:
4 tablespoons (4 envelopes) unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup sugar
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups cake/vanilla/whipped cream flavored vodka
4 drops each of green and red food coloring
For the chocolate layer:
2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa liqueur
To prepare the tri-color mixture, in a medium saucepan sprinkle 4 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin over 2 cups of cold water. Allow the gelatin to soak for 2-3 minutes, then begin to heat on medium, stirring constantly until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes). Stir in 1 cup of sugar until fully dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, vodka, and almond extract. Divide the mixture evenly between three separate bowls (just under 1 1/2 cup each) and stir one of each of the food colorings into 2 of the bowls.
To prepare the chocolate mixture, in a saucepan sprinkle gelatin evenly over 3/4 cup of milk and allow the gelatin to absorb the milk for two minutes. Over medium heat, whisk together milk and gelatin followed by the 1/4 cup of cocoa and 1 cup of sugar. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat and continue string until it begins to cool. Allow to cool to room temperature and stir in 3/4 cup of cocoa liquor.
Pour the green mixture into a 13 × 19 or equivalent sized pan. Refrigerate for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking it often, until the gelatin is set but not completely firm- the gelatin should stick to your finger when touched.
Gently spoon the white mixture into pan over the green. Again, refrigerate for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking it often, until the gelatin is set but not completely firm- again, the gelatin should stick to your finger when touched.
Repeat this process for the pink and chocolate layers. The chocolate layer should be thinner than the tricolor layers. Refrigerate overnight until firm.
Dip the pan in warm (not hot) for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen the gelatin. Cut into squares and serve.