La Dolce Vida, indeed
EC: The Italian Rainbow Cookie Doughnut Is Dessert Disguised as Breakfast
Credit: Photo Courtesy John Dunne via Flickr

Just when you thought breakfast innovations couldn't get any bolder, the Italian rainbow cookie doughnut drops into your lap and changes what you thought a doughnut could be. Sure, the cronut was a game-changer. So were the world's most expensive doughnuts. And I'm not even going to begin talking about sushi doughnuts because I'm not certain where the heck they fit in amongst all this invention. You may be wondering what a rainbow cookie doughnut is, especially if you're not from the Northeast and haven't experienced the joy that is a rainbow cookie from an Italian bakery (and if so, I'm deeply sorry to hear that).

Put simply, rainbow cookies (also known as Italian flag cookies or Napoleon cookies) are little tricolored slice of heaven, with three brightly colored layers of dense cake that are separated by thin jam spreads. They're thick, heavy, and utterly amazing. And now, Glaze Donuts in New Jersey have upped this colorful treat by shaping their rainbow cakes into rings and covering them in a thick layer of chocolate. The inner cake layers are made with almond paste and raspberry jelly, making the rainbow cookie doughnut stay true to its original rainbow cookie roots, which go back as far as 1920, when they first began to appear at Italian bakeries in New York and New Jersey.

At Glaze Donuts, rainbow cookie doughnuts are a special treat, made fresh on Fridays only. The original shop, which opened on the site of a shuttered Dunkin' Donuts, has the capacity to crank out 1,000 doughnuts per day. But even with this kind of output, the store still runs out of rainbow cookie doughnuts by Sunday.

Luckily enough, imitation is the still the sincerest form of flattery. If you strike out at Glaze Donuts, you can still find rainbow bagel doughnuts at Alfonso's Pastry Shoppe in Staten Island and Moe's Doughnuts in Brooklyn (although those rainbow doughnuts are admittedly a bit different than your standard Italian cookie variety). So if you find yourself in New York and want to have something decidedly unhealthy, make your way to the outskirts of the city for a rainbow cookie doughnut. And maybe check out a New Jersey diner or two.