Neopolitan Butter Cookies

These layered cookies are easier to make than you might think. All three doughs are whizzed up right in the food processor so there’s only one bowl to clean. The dough is then pressed and stacked in a regular 8x8-inch baking dish before chilling, slicing and baking. You can make the dough and press it in the baking dish up to 3 days ahead. Fun fact: Some of our tasters swore the pink layer tasted like strawberry just because it was pink! We think they’re extra pretty with a pink layer but you can use your favorite colors to give these their own unique personality.

neopolitan-butter-cookies
Photo by Jennifer Causey
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  • Makes 3 dozen
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These layered cookies are easier to make than you might think. All three doughs are whizzed up right in the food processor so there’s only one bowl to clean. The dough is then pressed and stacked in a regular 8x8-inch baking dish before chilling, slicing and baking. You can make the dough and press it in the baking dish up to 3 days ahead. Fun fact: Some of our tasters swore the pink layer tasted like strawberry just because it was pink! We think they’re extra pretty with a pink layer but you can use your favorite colors to give these their own unique personality.

Ingredients

  1. Check Vanilla Layer:
  2. Check cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  3. Check ½ cup powdered sugar
  4. Check ¼ teaspoon table salt
  5. Check ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  6. Check 2 large egg yolks
  7. Check 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. Check teaspoons whole milk
  9. Check Pink Layer:
  10. Check cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  11. Check ½ cup unsifted powdered sugar
  12. Check ¼ teaspoon table salt
  13. Check ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  14. Check 2 large egg yolks
  15. Check ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  16. Check 2 to 3 drops natural red liquid food coloring
  17. Check teaspoons whole milk
  18. Check Chocolate Layer:
  19. Check cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  20. Check ½ cup powdered sugar
  21. Check cup unsweetened cocoa
  22. Check ¼ teaspoon table salt
  23. Check ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  24. Check 3 large egg yolks
  25. Check ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing sides of parchment to extend 4 to 5 inches over edges of pan. Coat parchment with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the Vanilla Layer: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined, 3 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 times. Add egg yolks and vanilla and process until dough forms a ball, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer dough to prepared baking pan. (Do not clean processor bowl) and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Brush top of dough with milk.
  3. Prepare the Pink Layer: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in processor bowl and pulse until combined, 3 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 times. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and food coloring and process until dough forms a ball, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll to a roughly 8-inch square. Press Pink Layer evenly on top of Vanilla Layer in pan. Brush top of dough with milk.
  4. Prepare the Chocolate Layer: Wipe out food processor bowl. Combine flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt in food processor bowl and pulse until combined, 3 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 times. Add egg yolks and vanilla and process until dough forms a ball, 30 to 40 seconds. Place dough ball on lightly floured surface. Press or roll dough into an 8-inch square. Press Chocolate Layer on top of Pink Layer. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using the ends of the parchment as handles, lift dough out of pan. Cut dough into quarters and cut each quarter crosswise into 18 slices. Arrange slices 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake until firm to the touch, 14 to 15 minutes. (Do not let cookies brown) Cool on sheets about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely, about 20 minutes.