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Recipe: Mom's Italian Christmas Chocolate Ball Cookies

Here's an age-old family recipe of my mom's for Mostaccioli, or Italian chocolate ball holiday cookies. Do you have a family favorite? Share it with Patch!

OK, so I'm really not a baker.

In fact, the cookies in the picture are my first shot at baking something other then Nestle's chocolate chip cookies. My Mostaccioli did not come out as cute little chocolate balls. They are more like chocolate scones. Next time I will spoon out smaller dough sizes on the cookie sheet.

Still, if I close my eyes when I take a bite, they taste just like mom's with that special chocolate-cinnamon-clove taste.

Here's the recipe:

Mom’s Chocolate Balls – Mostaccioli

Ingredients:

Makes a large quantity – approximately 10 dozen cookies

6 cups flour

6 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

¾ cup unsweetened coco

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

2 ½ cup shortening

3 eggs

2 Tbls vanilla

1 Cup milk

2 Cups chopped nuts – walnuts or pecans

Chocolate Glaze

½ cup unsweetened coco

3 ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup boiling water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and coco.  In a different large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat granulated sugar with shortening until blended.  Increase speed to high until light and creamy.  At low speed beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Just until combined.  Add nuts.

Shape dough into walnut-size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed.  They will look dry. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

When cookies are cool, prepare chocolate glaze:  In medium bowl, with a wire whisk, gradually mix coco with ¾ cup boiling water until smooth.  Gradually stir in confectioners’ sugar and blend well.  Dip top of each cookie into glaze. Place cookies over wire rack set over waxed paper to catch drips.  Immediately sprinkle cookies with decorations or finely chopped nuts, if desired.

Store cookies, with wax paper between layers at room temperature for 3 days or in freezer up to 3 months.

Do you have a favorite holiday recipe for Christmas cookies? Share it with Patch by adding it to the comments below or sending the recipe to: david.ryan@patch.com

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