Vegan Neapolitan Cookies
Christmas time is cookie time – that much is already certain. Nevertheless, the question arises every year about which cookies we should bake. Is it vegan Linzer cookies, cinnamon cookies, Stollen bites or rather classic gingerbread?
Today we're trying something new and are baking Neapolitan Cookies – so why not join us?! Not only are these cookies an absolute eye-catcher, but they also taste great and are super tender. In fact, these cookies are so delicious that they won't be in your cookie box for too long, and you'll probably be baking the next batch sooner than later.
Neapolitan cookies are (mostly) round, tri-color cookies. The most common combination of flavors that you can find online is strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate, but some variations also include a green matcha-based dough, and some are even square cookies. So you see that there are no limits to your creativity, and you can choose the cookie's colors and shapes you prefer.
So how are Neapolitan cookies made? First, you prepare a basic dough, divide it into three parts, and then color it. If you notice that the dough becomes too sticky, for example, because of the vanilla paste, you can always add more flour. Once the three doughs are prepared, it's time to stick them together. To do this, take three equal-sized chunks of each dough, press them together lightly, and then carefully roll them into a ball with the palms of your hands. Alternatively, you can press the three dough chunks into an ice cream scoop so that you end up with a "ball" with one flat side.
The dough ball is tossed in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Do not flatten the balls before baking. This will happen all by itself during baking. For these cookies, it's also pretty important that you don't replace brown sugar with white one or anything else. The brown sugar is what gives them the moist, soft texture we want. White sugar tends to make the cookies crispy source.
Vegan Neapolitan Cookies
For the basic dough:
- 200 g (1.75 sticks) vegan butter (at room temperature)
- 200 g (1 cup) brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp applesauce
- 250 g (2 cups) wheat flour (type 405) or spelt flour (type 603)
- 2.5 g (0.5 tsp) baking powder
- 2.5 g (0.5 tsp) baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
For the vanilla dough:
- 1.5 tsp vanilla paste
For the strawberry dough:
- 12 g (0.5 oz) freeze-dried strawberries
For the chocolate dough:
- 2 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa
- 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 6 tbsp sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C/355°F (convection heat). Blend the freeze-dried strawberries in a food grinder or use a hand mixer until you get a strawberry powder and set it aside.
For the base dough, beat room-warm vegan butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add brown sugar and continue to beat until both ingredients are combined. Next, add applesauce and continue to beat the dough.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the vegan butter mixture and stir until combined.
Divide the dough into three equal parts. Add the vanilla paste to the first part. If the dough becomes too sticky, add more flour until you get a smooth dough ball. Next, add the powdered freeze-dried strawberries to the second part of the dough. Last but not least, add cocoa powder and cinnamon to the remaining dough.
Take 20 g (0.7 oz) of each dough and roll it carefully with your hands so that the different colored doughs stick together but do not mix.
For the coating, mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and roll the final dough balls in it until they are coated from all sides.
Arrange the dough balls with plenty of space between them on a lined baking sheet and bake them at 180°C/355°F (convection heat) for approx. 10-12 minutes.
Tip: The cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven. Therefore, they should cool entirely to become firmer and more stable. After that, the cookies will keep fresh in a sealed container for up to 1-2 weeks.