As much as I love traditional cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, it’s fun to have a unique cookie recipe saved just for the holidays. Of course you can make them any day of the year, but the unique flavor of these cookies make them extra special to wrap up and give out to friends. They’re based on the Italian ice cream Spumoni, which is a traditional dessert flavored with chocolate, pistachio, and cherry. The original idea to turn them into cookies belongs to the Food Network, but I’ve replaced all the animal products with wholesome, healthy ingredients to add an extra kick of cruelty-free deliciousness. These cookies are total crowd-pleasers, and if you don’t portion them correctly you’ll have eaten them all before you even get a chance to wrap them up!
Italian Spumoni Cookies, or “Spumookies”
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance), melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix your flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a butcher’s knife or other large, flat blade knife, roughly chop the pistachios and cherries.
Next, add three tablespoons of water to a small bowl with the ground flax seed. You’ll want to use the mixture about 3-4 minutes after you do this, so it’s had a bit of time to set but not so long that it becomes gelatinous.
In a large bowl, melt the butter and then whisk in your brown and granulated sugars. You can just hand-whisk, there’s no need for a machine. Add the flax seed mixture, vanilla, and almond extracts and whisk until fully mixed.
Then, with a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour mixture into the large bowl. Once the flour is fully folded in and you cannot see any remaining white powder, use a wooden spoon to stir in the chocolate chips, pistachios, and cherries.
Using two teaspoons or clean, dry hands, scoop the cookies into roughly 1/4 cup balls and space evenly on your cookie sheets. There are about 26-30 cookies in each batch. With one baking sheet on each shelf, bake for 10 minutes. Then, switch racks and rotate each sheet 180 degrees. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. If you prefer a softer cookie, take them out a little sooner and let them sit on their hot pans outside of the oven to finish setting. If you prefer a chewier cookie, leave them in for the full 10 minutes.
After they’ve cooled on the cookie sheets, use a metal spatula to remove to cooling racks. After the cookies are fully cooled, feel free to wrap up to give to friends for the holidays, or simply enjoy them yourself. Either way, happy eating!