Everyone loves these classic Italian Christmas cookies !
Prep Time: 55 min Cook Time: 10 min
- 2 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup(s) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon(s) almond extract
- 1/3 cup(s) (about 3/4 cup pistachios in shell) shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- Green paste food coloring
- 1/3 cup(s) red candied cherries, finely chopped
- Red paste food coloring
- Line 9-inch by 5-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting wrap extend on all sides. On waxed paper, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar 4 minutes or until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and almond extract and beat until well blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl.
- Transfer 1 rounded cup plain dough to medium bowl; with spoon, stir in pistachios and enough green food coloring to tint dough bright green. In another bowl, place 1 rounded cup plain dough; stir in cherries and enough red food coloring to tint dough bright red.
- Evenly pat pistachio dough into bottom of prepared pan; freeze 10 minutes. Pat plain dough on top of pistachio layer; freeze 10 minutes. Pat cherry dough on top. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to slice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from pan; discard plastic wrap. With serrated knife, cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice crosswise into 3 cookies. Place cookies, 2 inches apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and golden brown at edges. Cool cookies on cookie sheet on wire rack 2 minutes. With wide spatula, carefully transfer cookies to rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months