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
These are absolutely melt in your mouth, how did I ever live without them scrumptious! Dense chocolate flavor and texture. Filled with chewy Raisins and crunchy nuts and spiced just right. I'm sure they will be added to your list of Christmas " must haves!" Pre-Heat Oven 350° and lightly grease cookie sheets.
- 1-1/2 Cups sugar
- 1-1/2 Cups Shortening like Crisco
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
- 5 Cups AP flour
- 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Milk I use whole Milk
- 1-1/2 Cups Finely Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Cup raisins
- 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
- 2-3 TBSP Water
- Red and Green Sprinkles
- 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
- Visit my website and leave me a comment. I do enjoy hearing from you all! www.thejourneygirl.com
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
These are great! Thanks for sharing Karen! My Aumt Carrie gave my Mom a recipe that used a dark chocolate cake mix. I have tried the cake mix version and it is really quite good! It is a bit of a time saver too.
Linda Whitmore says
Our Dad worked at Fredonia Seed…several of the ladies were Italian and we were the recipient of many platefuls at Christmas! Great memory….
Pamela Parsell says
Thank you for this article. I come from WNY and my sister-in-law and I were just talking about the Italian cookies and to see your article was just the greatest as our the chocolate and fig cookies.. Have a great holiday.
ann eichenberger says
i have been looking for this recipe for nearly 40 years I first had these cookies when i lived with a lovely family who lived on the hill just outside of downtown Fredonia.
i am from Gowanda and so appreciate these WNY recipes Thank you
These were sooooo good. I soaked the raisins in Spiced Rum and also added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup mini morsels (semi-sweet). Also added about a tsp of finely ground black pepper. I think I would’ve liked more black pepper. But these were so moist and delicious!