ADVOCATE-TESTED RECIPE

Spumoni Bars

Makes 48 cookies. Recipe is reprinted with permission from “The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies & Bars” by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen.

Why This Recipe Works: One of the best things about cookies is that they’re a blank slate, just waiting for your creative contribution. These cookies are inspired by the frozen Italian dessert spumoni. Striped just like the slabs of ice cream, they feature three traditional flavors — nuts, chocolate and cherry. Instead of emptying and washing the mixer three times for three flavored doughs, we streamlined the process by making one dough, dividing it into thirds, and simply stirring the flavorings into each batch of dough. Then, to shape the cookies, we formed the doughs into ropes and pressed a rope of each color together, rolled out the tricolored dough, and sliced it into bars. We refrigerated the dough as needed to keep the process from getting messy. In the end, we had an eye-catching and colorful cookie featuring three delicious flavors. And the best part? Unlike ice cream, we could savor them for as long as we liked without them melting. If the ropes don’t stick together well, lightly brush their sides with water to help them adhere.

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

⅔ cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 maraschino cherries, drained, stemmed, and chopped fine

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddles, 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 piece to separate bowl.

3. 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 third bowl and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate until doughs are slightly firm, about 10 minutes.

4. Divide each dough in half. Roll each dough half into 12-inch rope on lightly floured counter. Place one rope of each color side-by-side and gently press together. Refrigerate dough ropes until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Roll each set of ropes into 24-by-3-inch rectangle. Cut rectangles crosswise into 1-inch cookies and space them ¾-inch apart on prepared sheets.

5. Bake until just set but not browned, 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.