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Spumoni Cookies

(Makes about 48 cookies)
Spumoni Cookies

Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Green Layer:
1/4 cup chopped pistachios or almonds
1/2 teaspoon pistachio or almond extract
1-2 drops green gel food coloring

For Pink Layer:
2 tablespoons Maraschino cherries, finely chopped
1-2 drops red gel food coloring

For Chocolate Layer:
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the flour and salt; mix until the dough comes together.  Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and place each portion into a separate small bowl.

In one bowl, add the nuts and food coloring for the green layer; stir the dough well to combine all the ingredients.  In the second bowl, add the chopped cherries and food coloring for the pink layer.  And in the third bowl, combine the dough with the melted chocolate.

On a work surface, lay out 3 pieces of plastic wrap.   Use your hands to press each color dough onto a separate piece of the plastic wrap in an even 3-1/2 x 8 inch rectangular layer, about 1/2-inch thick. Then carefully place the layers together, one on top of the other to form a loaf, using the plastic wrap to help you transfer the dough. (You can put them in any color order that you prefer.) Press the layers together gently.  Wrap with one of the pieces of plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until the dough loaf is firm to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and transfer the dough  to a cutting board.  (I like to first trim the side edges of the loaf with a long, sharp knife to get a nice smooth edge on the cookies but you don't have to.)  Use a knife to cut the dough down the middle lengthwise to form two long pieces.  Then cut 1/4-inch slices from one end to the other.  Place the slices on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Spumoni is a frozen dessert made with layers of chocolate, pistachio and cherry ice cream mixed with chopped fruit and nuts.  These cookies highlight the same flavors and colors of the ice cream dessert in a shortbread cookie. See our recipe for the frozen ice cream dessert, Spumoni.
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