Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Italian Spumoni Cookies (Cherry, Vanilla and Pistachio)

Today I'm happy to be bringing you a new favorite Christmas cookie. Let me present to you the Italian Spumoni Cookie. Layers of cherry, vanilla and pistachio make up this delicious holiday cookie. While quite crisp after cooling, they will soften just a bit if you store them in a tupperware or a ziploc overnight.

Personally I have usually seen the spumoni flavor combination as cherry, chocolate and pistachio, but after researching it I found that vanilla is also used and is labelled as spumoni as well. I find the red, white and green to be very festive for the holiday season. Adorable and they taste wonderful to boot. I adore cherry and pistachio so this cookie is right up my alley.

I  adapted a recipe found at The Gold Lining Girl. I did omit the pistachio nuts to save a little money and my kids prefer it without a lot of nuts. There are a few small nuts here and there from the jello pudding mix, but that was it. There are lots of details in the instructions below, so please be sure to read through them before you start. Enjoy!

Italian Spumoni Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies


  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. chopped maraschino cherries, drained 
  • 5-6 drops red food coloring
  • 1/3 c. chopped pistachio nuts (optional, I skipped)
  • 3 tbsp. pistachio pudding mix
  • 5-6 drops green food coloring


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg, and the extracts. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until well-blended. Divide dough into thirds. Add chopped maraschino cherries and red food coloring to one of the thirds. Mix well by hand. (Note: I found it necessary to add a spoonful of flour to the cherry dough as it was very wet.) Add pistachio nuts (if using), pistachio pudding mix, and green food coloring to another third of the dough. Mix well by hand. 
  2. Shape each third of dough on separate sheets of lightly floured wax paper into logs approximately 1 1/2 inch in diameter and approximately 16 inches long. Flatten each log into a rectangle approximately 4 inches wide. You will have 3 rectangles of 4×16. Layer the dough on a single piece of plastic food wrap by lining up the rectangles and flipping them one on top of the other. Start with pistachio as the bottom layer, flip the plain layer on top of pistachio, and flip the maraschino cherry layer on top of the plain layer. 
  3. At this point you have one slab of dough, colored green, white and red. Next cut the dough in half so each piece is 2x16-inches. Place one half of dough on top of the other half, creating two sets of green, white and red patterns. Trim any long edges so you have a nice, clean edge all around your dough. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Note: To make it easier to handle, I would recommend cutting the finished dough log into two equal sized pieces of 8 inches, as 16 inches is very long and hard to handle.
  4. When the dough is chilled well, preheat your oven to 375f degrees. Cut the rectangle of dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the dough no longer looks "wet." (Note: my cookie edges never turned brownCool completely. The cookies are crisp after cooling but will soften up a bit if you store them in a tupperware overnight or in a ziploc bag. 

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