You can tell that we had fun with these cookies. We made Neapolitan cookies—but with one part chocolate, one part almond, and one part cherry—but think of it as a method, not a recipe. By changing flavors and colors, you can make any combination you desire. Use your imagination. Make circles, stripes, swirls, or squares. (If you look at the cookies in the background, you’ll see three part cookies—pink, then white, then chocolate.)
These make great kids cookies, great holiday cookies, and great party cookies.
How to Make Neapolitan Cookies
You can make a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors with this basic recipe–from shamrocks to Christmas cookies. In the accompanying pictures, we made tri-colored cookies with chocolate, almond, and cherry doughs.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (optional)
flavors and extracts (your choice)
food colors (your choice)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, mixing after each. Mix just until combined.
- Divide the dough into two, three, or four parts depending on how many different doughs you choose to make.
For the chocolate dough:
- For one half of the dough, melt two ounces of chocolate. For one fourth of the dough, melt one ounce of chocolate. While still warm, work the chocolate into the dough until uniform.
For flavored and colored doughs:
- Add four or five drops of food coloring in each one fourth or one third part. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint, 1 teaspoon cherry, 1 teaspoon strawberry, or other extracts to the dough and mix in.
- Form the dough into cylinders, squares, or layers—a separate color or flavor for each. Refrigerate until firm.
- Cut the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. To form the cloverleaf shape shown, cut each colored cylinder separately but gently press the different colored discs together on the cookie sheet. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets at 350 degrees for ten to twelve minutes or until the cookies are nearly firmed and very lightly browned. Do not over bake. Cool on wire racks.
Baker’s note: Nuts or fruit can be added to these cookies. Maraschino cherry pieces could be added to the pink dough and almond bits to the almond dough.
Baker’s note: It’s easy to shape refrigerator cookies with waxed paper. To make true checkerboard cookies, you need four layers—not three. Make a rectangle with four layers. Then cut the rectangle longitudinally into four new layers. Layer them back together so that the colors alternate and cut slices across the rectangle. (It’s easier to do than to describe.)