Monday, October 13, 2008

The Rainbow Connection

I thought my NY trip was going to be about donuts, but Doughnut Plant thwarted me again. The place was closed for vacation ... VACATION! Donuts don't go on vacation. That Doughnut Plant man has some nerve. I think the Bobby Flay throw down went to his head. DP you are officially off my list.

Good thing one of my other favorite pastry delights stepped up to the plate -- the Italian three-layer cookie aka the rainbow cookie.

I usually make a trip to Ferrara's in Little Italy to get my fix. The rainbow at Ferrara's is, in my opinion, the ultimate. Now, my brother thinks the rainbow at Egidio on Arthur Ave. is the best but he's wrong. He's just pissed off at Ferrara's cause they gave him some cookies that could have been fresher. I'd have asked for other cookies ... but that's just me.

The only downside to the Ferrara's rainbow is the price. These cookies are expensive, like $20 a pound. And a pound doesn't go far ... I've taken a box down in minutes. Edigio is more reasonable, maybe $10 a pound. Still, I prefer the taste of Ferrara's. The Ferrara's rainbow has the perfect balance of almond paste, jam and chocolate -- combine that with the correct level of moistness (moist but not too moist!) and you've got the winner. Plus, they're not too sweet. Most places make them too sweet and too moist, especially Jewish bakeries (they even put chocolate sprinkles on the outside).

I saw so many rainbows on my trip I felt like I was in Hawaii! They were popping up everywhere. Maybe I was just tuned in?

Rockland Bakery had the traditional cookie size (which ... eh, too sweet and way too much almond paste!) but then they had the SUPERSIZED rainbow. OMG, it was pretty darn good too. I thought it was going to be like the cookie only bigger ... but no. It was less sweet, had a better balance of almond, and it was good. It had more of a chocolate fudge on top rather than a hard chocolate shell. I was hooked. Plus, the giant rainbow was only $1.75!!!

My other rainbow surprise came at the oddest of places. A convenience store up in the boonies, near Kreg's folks. I couldn't believe it. Displayed proudly on the counter -- a packaged rainbow cookie bar. Weird, I know. Obviously a big seller because the box I choose my rainbows from was practically empty. Who knew they made such a product, guess I'm not the only one who likes rainbows! Flavor-wise, this prepackaged treat was a delight. It was moist, not too sweet, not overstuffed with jam and it had that almond paste taste.

I did buy a few for the plane ride back home and I still have one left ... I wonder if it's still fresh?