I’m sucker for color, so when I saw these Spumoni bars in The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Fool Proof Cookies, Brownies & Bars book, I knew it would be the first recipe I was going to make.
They’re everything you would expect, fun, tasty and easy to pull off. Of course I did a few tweaks, but not in my usual heavy handed way.
Below are the adaptations I made and the resulting effect and some helpful hints:
- The form – I skipped the baking pan for using a silicone mini loaf pan because I wanted really straight edges. Admittedly, it was not worth the extra work prepping each well and the longer bake time it required—stick to the recipe.
- The color – I added some green and pink food coloring to really it make it pop. I used Americolor’s Electric Green and Soft Pink.
- I swapped the walnuts for pistachios so that the green layer would be more aesethetically uniform—totally unnecessary, as you can hardly see them as it is.
- Make sure to give to the maraschino cherries a good blotting with paper towels after they are chopped to work away as much moisture as you can. Another note on this layer, it’s the softest so make sure you work this one last as you assemble the dough.
I’m keeping it short and to the point today because I promised by boys I would put up Halloween decorations. But before I go, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this book. It’s filled with recipes that cover all the classics cookies you are familiar with and a few that you might not be. Each recipe is, as you would expect, clearly written and easy to follow.
I know, I know, I’m probably breaking all kinds of rules with reviewing a book that came out only a few days before mine, but good books should always be shared–so call me a rule breaker.
Yield: Makes 12 3x1x3/4 cookie bars
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspooon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 maraschino cherries, drained, stemmed and chopped fine
- 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped fine
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray silicon loaf pan with bake spray and dust with flour.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and transfer each peice to separate bowl.
Add cherries to first bowl of dough and mix with wooden spoon until incorporated. Add walnuts to second bowl and mix until incorporated. Add melted chocolate to thrid bowl and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate until doughs are slightly firm, about 10 minutes.
Divide each dough in half. Roll each dough half into 12-inch rope on lightly floured counter. Place 1 rope of each color side-by-side and gently press together. Refrigerate dough ropes until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Gently roll and work assembled dough to shape a 17 by 3 by 1/2-inch rectangle. Cut rectangels cross-wise into 1 1/4 inch cookies.
Bake until just set but not browned, about 16-18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove from oven and transfer loaf pan to a wire rack to cool completely before removing.
**Recipe was adapted from The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Fool Proof Cookies, Brownies & Bars.
Adaptations made to the original recipe:
- Walnuts were equally swapped out for pistachios.
- One drop of green food coloring was added to the pistachio layer (Americolor Electric Green was used).
- One drop of pink food coloring was added to the maraschino layer (Americolor Soft Pink was used).
- A 12 (3x1x1.25-inch) mini silicone cake pan was used instead of a baking sheet to bake the cookies.
- Bake time was modified by an additional 4 minutes to accomodate the thicker cookie cut.
To make cookies as printed in the book:
- Use walnuts instead of pistachios.
- Omit the green and pink food coloring.
- Roll assembled dough to 24 by 3-inch rectangle. Cut rectangles crosswise into 1-inch cookies and space the 3/4 inches apart on the a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Skip the loaf pan for a regular baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
- Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes.