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Neapolitan Cookies

  • yield: Makes about 8 dozen
Photography: Anna Williams




  • 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 3

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

  4. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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.

Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999



Reviews (12)

  • 29 Nov, 2012

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 17 Dec, 2009

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

  • 15 Dec, 2009

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

  • 14 Dec, 2009

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

  • 14 Dec, 2009

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

  • 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.

  • 14 Dec, 2009

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

  • 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!

  • 15 Nov, 2009

    not good directions

  • 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?