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Neapolitan Cookies

  • Yield: Makes about 8 dozen
Neapolitan Cookies

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999


  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the Chocolate-Espresso Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Orange-Sable Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (2 to 3 oranges)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Make the Orange-Sable Dough: Place almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; set aside.

  2. Place butter and zest in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until white and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, add almond mixture; beat until combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Add egg and lemon juice; combine. Add flour, and beat until combined. Wrap in plastic, and store, refrigerated, until ready to use.

  3. Make the Chocolate-Espresso Dough: Sift flour, cocoa powder, and espresso beans in a large bowl; set aside.

  4. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Working in additions, gradually beat in flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl twice. Wrap in plastic; store, refrigerated, until ready to use.

  5. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with plastic. In a large bowl, stir cranberries into orange-sable dough. In another large bowl, stir walnuts into chocolate-espresso dough.

  6. Press orange mixture into bottom of pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth top evenly. Spread chocolate mixture over orange mixture and smooth evenly. Cover pan with plastic; chill at least 2 hours.

  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unmold dough; remove plastic. Cut into 2-by-8-inch bricks; cut bricks into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices on sheets, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Reviews (12)

  • winnj29 29 Nov, 2012

    Sorry! I was looking at the wrong recipe. Don't know how to remove my previous comment. ) :

  • winnj29 29 Nov, 2012

    I haven't made these yet, but wonder why there isn't any butter in the espresso layer. One reviewer mentioned that it was dry. Thanks!

  • shohenthal 14 Nov, 2010

    The directions need to be revised for ease. The cookies themselves were great. My chocolate-espresso dough seemed a little dry. I made a note of it ,and I will adjust next time, if needed.

  • JaniceDouglas 17 Dec, 2009

    The orange-sable dough recipe is here...with the flour instructions:

  • Eartha 15 Dec, 2009

    can anyone help to let me know when to add flour for the orange dough please. thanks

  • WendyDallas 14 Dec, 2009

    They don't say when to put in the flour for the Orange Sable dough.

  • durandtx 14 Dec, 2009

    Cindyccm, l#5 tells about stirring in cranberries and walnuts

  • cindyccm 14 Dec, 2009

    I see the bake time, but it doesn't say what to do with the cranberries or the walnuts. Good thing there is a picture though.

  • myke43 14 Dec, 2009

    Bandid, my copy shows 12 to 15 minutes and do not overbake.

  • jodisavage 13 Dec, 2009

    I make these every year and they are really good. Because they are shortbread like, you bake them just until they set up and feel a little firm, just before they start to brown. This also makes a ton of cookies, good for a swap!

  • caldomoma 15 Nov, 2009

    not good directions

  • bandldrennan 15 Oct, 2009

    how long do these bake for? (the time is missing from step 7). how and who can one contact to inform of such mistakes in this website?

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