These Neapolitan cookies are a treat for any occasion. They require a little more work but the results are worth it. The recipe is reproduced from 100 Cookies: The baking book for every kitchen by Sarah Kieffer (read our review here). Below is an excerpt from Kieffer:
“This cookie was inspired by pastry chef Matthew Rice’s Neapolitan cookie, which I stumbled upon while browsing Pinterest for the color pink. This cookie popped up and I was intrigued by the lovely colors all rolled together. I headed straight for the kitchen. I used my sugar cookie as a base and found the version here. My kids are asking for this cookie, and it’s worth the extra steps it takes to make it.
Makes 20 cookies
21⁄2 cups + 1 tbsp (364g) all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup (8g) freeze-dried strawberries
1 cup (2 sticks or 227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
13⁄4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Dutchprocess cocoa powder
2 or 3 drops of red food coloring (optional)
White, pink and brown nuggets to roll (optional)
Set an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, grind the strawberries to a powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg, yolk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Place the dough on a work surface and divide it into 3 equal portions. Return one-third of the batter to the blender and add the powdered strawberries and food coloring, if using. Blend on low speed until fully combined, then scoop out the batter and quickly wipe out the mixer bowl.
Add another third of the batter to the mixer. Add cocoa powder and mix on low speed until fully combined.
Pinch a small portion (about 1⁄2 oz [15 g]) of each of the three pastes, and press them gently together, so that they adhere to each other, but keep their unique colors. Press the piece into a cookie scoop or roll it into a ball, then roll the ball into sprinkles (if using). Place 6 or 7 cookies on each baking sheet.
Bake cookies one pan at a time, turning halfway through. Bake until sides are set and cookies are puffed, 10 to 11 minutes.
Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes on the sheet, then remove them and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
NOTES: Use dark cocoa powder for a darker color. Powdered strawberries alone won’t give a bright pink hue, so I like to add a little food coloring. I also like to roll each individual color of dough into the same color of sprinkles, but you can mix and match however you like.