New Italian Neapolitan Cookies

May 27, 2019
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Photo by Lorraine Fina Stevenski
  • Cook time 12 minutes
  • Makes 36 cookies
Author Notes

This classic Italian cookie is updated with more intense flavors. Simply one dough and then the flavorings are added to each separate dough. Vanilla is enhanced with Fiori di Sicilia and ground almonds, chocolate has cocoa rouge, espresso and melted semi-sweet chocolate, strawberry has simply strawberry jam.
Have all your ingredients ready to go before starting this recipe: melt the chocolate and finely grind the nuts. If you like to be precise in weights, the dough should weigh 31.50 ounces and then be separated into three 10.50 ounce pieces, for the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry doughs. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened, 2 sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely ground sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 drops Fiori di Sicilia
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam, stirred smooth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, I like Guittard cocoa rouge
  • Pinch espresso powder
  1. Line a 9×5-inch straight sided loaf pan with parchment paper, one piece the long way and one piece the short way. Let the ends extend 2" up the sides and then press the parchment into the bottom corners of the pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH: In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla, beat 1 minute and then scrape the bowl.
  3. On low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until blended and a dough forms, scrape the bowl. Divide the dough into three equal portions (10.50 ounces each), and place each in separate small mixing bowls ready to add the flavorings. Use a large rubber spatula to mix in the flavorings.
  4. For the vanilla dough: Mix in the ground almonds, almond extract and Fiori di Sicilia. For the strawberry dough: Mix in the strawberry jam and 1 tablespoon of flour. Add more flour by tablespoon if the mixture is too wet (from the jam). For the chocolate dough: Mix in the melted chocolate, cocoa powder and the pinch of espresso powder.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, form each dough separately into a 7- 1/2 x 3- 1/2 inch rectangle, use your fingers or a rolling pin for a smooth top. This will define the different layers neatly. Press each dough layer firmly and evenly into the parchment lined loaf pan. Start with the chocolate on the bottom, vanilla in the middle and strawberry on top. Gently press the layers to seal and to the edges of the pan. Fold the parchment flaps on top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  6. FORM AND BAKE THE COOKIES: Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Lift the extended edges to remove the dough to a cutting board. Cut the dough in half lengthwise with a sharp long knife. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Trim the cookies with a knife to smooth the edges. Place the slices 1 inch apart on parchment lined half sheet pans, 12 to a pan. Bake until the edges are firm (the cookies should not brown), 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the pan 15 minutes to firm up and then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely before storage.

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