Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies

Simple sugar cookies turn into beautiful kaleidoscope rainbow cookies with homemade sanding sugar! Food coloring is simply mixed with coarse sugar to create a rainbow of colors! 

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies | Baker Bettie

I often wonder about why I have such a fascination with other eras.

Is it because I spent so much time with my grandparents when I was growing up?

And because they played so much of their music for me that older music feels more familiar to me than the music of “my era?”

My grandpa Joe used to put records on for us all the time and teach us how to dance.  I think he did a great job, though my husband would argue that I am one of the worst dancers he’s ever seen.  He obviously has no idea what he is talking about.

This is one of the songs that we often danced to.  When I hear it, it feels so nostalgic like a song from my childhood.  And I guess in a way it is.

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies | Baker Bettie

The thing I miss most about working as a music therapist on an Alzheimer’s unit is singing songs like this almost every day.

Not really because of how much I love this kind of music, (even though I do) but more because of what it brought out in the clients I worked with.  Like a time machine.  Back to a time when words were easy to find and memories were not compromised.

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies | Baker Bettie

I’m sure you are wondering what any of this has to do with these cookies.

Well, to be honest, nothing really.

Other than the fact that my brain goes on tangents and I wanted to make these cute retro Rainbow Kaleidoscope Cookies for St. Patty’s Day.

And St. Patty’s Day reminds me of the clover song which reminds me of working on an Alzheimer’s unit.  So I guess I felt the need to share all of that with you.  Ok? Cool.

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies | Baker Bettie

Is a pot of rainbow cookies almost as good as a pot of gold?

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies | Baker Bettie

Kaleidoscope Rainbow Cookies

20 minPrep Time

12 minCook Time

32 minTotal Time

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For the Rainbow Sanding Sugar
Sugar in the raw, or demerara sugar, or turbinado sugar
Green, blue, yellow, and red liquid food coloring
For the Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1/2 tsp almond extract (I prefer almond in these cookies)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


    For the Rainbow Sanding Sugar
  1. Put 1/3 cup raw sugar in an airtight container with 4-8 drops of food coloring (depending on how dark you want your color).
  2. Shake vigorously for at least 1 minute until all the color is distributed through the sugar. For orange, mix yellow and red drops. For indigo, mix red and blue drops. (this didn’t turn out well for me, but give it a shot!)
  3. For the Cookies
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla or almond extract.
  6. Add salt and slowly add all-purpose flour and mix until incorporated.
  7. Scoop out dough with a small cookie scoop and flatten to about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Roll edges in sanding sugar. (if sugar is not sticking well, brush edges with water before rolling in sugar)
  9. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

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