Western New York State, where I lived for most of my life, is blessed with a large Italian-Sicilian heritage. And every year at Christmas, huge trays of cookies found their way to places of work because Grandma was baking again! Fig cookies, Sesame cookies, Anise cookies and these, Chocolate Spice Cookies which steal the show every year! Chewy Chocolate balls of unctuous delight. Flavored with Cinnamon and Nutmeg with bits of Raisin and Walnuts hidden inside, they are an all time favorite. It would not be Christmas at our house without them. So, get out the largest mixing bowl you have because this recipe makes about a million cookies…….or 6-8 dozen, but trust me, they will be devoured!
Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the Sugar and Shortening until fluffy. Add the Eggs and mix until well combined. Beat in the Vanilla Extract. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.
- Now....get out the largest bowl you have 'cause you're going to need it! Scrape the Shortening and Sugar mix into this LARGE bowl. Then, using a big sturdy spoon, gradually stir in the dry ingredients alternating with the Milk. I had to call in reinforcements to help me with this part. It is a LOT of dough and it is very stiff. The larger the bowl, the easier it is to stir. Then stir in the Walnuts and Raisins. Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight. This makes it easier to scoop out and form into balls.
- By hand, or with a cookie scoop, form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. They do not spread much so you can place them closer together.
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. Frost when completely cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the Confectioners Sugar and Water. I like it a little thin. When the cookies are cool, take each one and dip the top in the Frosting, then sprinkle on the colored Sugars. Let the Frosting dry and pack them in gallon plastic storage bags to freeze until needed. Or, pack them in gift boxes and go visit your family and friends. They'll be very happy to see you!
- I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do. This Holiday Season, I wish for you on your journey, family and friends to share laughter, stories, great meals and love. Especially love because that is the story of Christmas.
- Until next time, Journey On! Hugs and much love from me, Karen, TJG
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