Sunday, March 6, 2011

Neapolitan Cookies

Neapolitan Cookies. Usually a 'neapolitan' dessert means vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But not for these cookies. These are neapolitan in the sense that they are colored, not flavored, like neapolitan ice cream. Brown, white, and pink. This recipe is from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book. I think what drew me to these was the 3 colors and the idea of making a cookie in a loaf pan! But you don't actually bake the cookie dough in the loaf pan.You make a cookie dough using usual cookie ingredients: butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, egg, salt, and baking powder. The dough is divided into thirds. One third is flavored with melted unsweetened chocolate. Another third with is flavored with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. And the last third is tinted with red food coloring. The three doughs are layered in a loaf pan, chilled overnight, then sliced into cookies and baked.Our layering could use a little work! They are not even layers. And beware of baking time. These are supposed to bake for 15 minutes, until set and pale gold on the bottom. Ours were set and pale gold after 10 minutes, which we didn't discover until the second batch. So the first dozen are a little crispy. These cookies are much tastier as a soft, just set cookie than a crisper cookie.They look pretty. They taste good. But not as good as I expected. The white layer could use more than just 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. And I think the pink layer could use some cinnamon.These remind me of a cookie I made when I was in middle school. They were called 'Party Whirls' and were also three layers of brown-white-pink. But for those cookies, each third of dough was rolled out to a 9x13 rectangle, the 3 rectangles were stacked on top each other (imagine my cursing and frustration as I tried to place one layer on top of another and the thin layers stretched and tore and fell apart and didn't line up perfectly), rolled into a cylinder, chilled, then sliced and baked. I think I still have the recipe somewhere. And I seem to recall that the pink layer was flavored with cinnamon.But I like making these neapolitan layer cookies in a loaf pan, not rolling three layers out to a thin 9x13 rectangle. Much easier in the loaf pan. They just need a tiny flavor boost. I love nutmeg and cinnamon, that's why I find myself wishing they had that wee extra oomph of flavor.

Of course, just because I want more nutmeg flavor and added cinnamon flavor does not mean these are not delicious as they are. I've been unable to resist munching on them today. Two for breakfast, one at lunch, one for an afternoon snack, a few for evening dessert...



  1. Yum indeed. I wonder how they would be with almond extract? They look so pretty!

  2. Whitney-I hadn't thought of almond extract but that sounds good!

  3. I'd like to make these for my daughter's bday party. I'm considering strawberry flavoring in the pink part. Any ideas how much I would use?

  4. Kyla's Mom: There's a strawberry flavored oil for candy, it comes with a dropper, so I'd try 2-3 drops and then taste and add more if necessary. If it's a strawberry extract, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 tsp since it's just 1/3 of the dough-?Let me know how they turn out!