If you have time for one more addition to your Christmas cookie tray, here is a more than worthy candidate. Spumoni icebox cookies usually make an appearance in my kitchen both for Christmas and Easter.
Spumoni cookies are a twist on the Italian ice cream which is comprised of three different flavors of ice cream layered together. One layer is generally plain while a second layer has nuts, usually pistachios, and a third layer has fruit, usually cherries. Both the ice cream and these cookies have a very pretty, festive presentation—perfect for the holidays.
There are several steps to making these cookies, but they are all quite simple and well worth the effort when you taste the final product. The cookie is flavored with almond extract and has a tender, sugar cookie texture. It is impossible to eat just one or two—three or four at a time is more like it. I read somewhere that Christmas calories don’t count, so I’m counting on not counting them!
One year ago: Holiday Eggnog
Two years ago: Reindeer Chow
Three years ago: Perfectly Peppermint Brownies
Spumoni Icebox Cookies
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
- Green paste food coloring
- 1/3 cup red candied cherries, chopped
- Red paste food coloring
Line 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Let plastic wrap overhang edges of pan.
Cream butter; add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and almond extract. Add dry ingredients and beat well.
Divide dough into thirds. Add chopped nuts and green food coloring to one third of dough.
Press into prepared loaf pan; cover and freeze for 10 mins.
Press second portion of plain dough on top of green layer and freeze for another 10 mins.
Add chopped cherries and red food color to last third of dough.
Press over plain layer in pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator until firm enough to slice.
Heat oven to 350o F. Remove dough from refrigerator; unwrap. Using a serrated knife, cut across three layers from short end of rectangle. Then cut that slice into thirds.
Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Source: A recipe from the December 2003 issue of Good Housekeeping