Impress your guests with this cheeky cookie
Like many of us, Rossella Rago took cooking lessons from her grandmother. Her grandmother is so rich in culinary knowledge that Rago hosts a show with her called “Cooking With Nonna” on Instagram and YouTube.
And earlier this year, Rago released her a cookbook with 130 recipes for Italian comfort food, drawn from her days with her grandmother.
One recipe from Cooking with Nonna: Sunday Dinners with La Famiglia that impressed and delighted us is Italian Meatball Cookies, which Rago says are “a chocolatey flavored cookie reminiscent of the Italian-American cookie sheets of yesteryear.” .
Her version is said to look even more meatball-like with a red icing and white nonpareilles.
Here is Grandma’s favorite recipe:This Christmas cookie has been a family favorite for 60 years
For the picture-perfect sugar cookie:Try this royal icing recipe
Italian cookies with meatballs
Makes: About two dozen cookies
Ingredients for the cookies:
- 3 cups 00 or all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- ½ cup vegetable fat
- 2 packets of vanilla powder or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
- ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Ingredients for the glaze:
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 to 8 drops red food coloring or gel food coloring (you can add more or less to get a very red color)
- White nonpareilles or white chocolate shavings for decoration
Instructions for making the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, spices, and espresso powder in a large mixing bowl.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the shortening, vanillina or vanilla extract, and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs until fully incorporated. Beat in the dry ingredients until just absorbed. Using a spoon or your hands, mix in the nuts and chocolate chips.
- Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Let cool on a wire rack before glazing.
Instructions for making the glaze:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and food coloring until smooth.
- Dip the top of each cookie in the red icing and drain the excess off the cookies over a wire rack. Decorate with white nonpareilles or white chocolate shavings so the cookies look like meatballs with gravy and grated cheese.
Nonna’s Tip: If you love the look of these cookies but aren’t a fan of spices, you can omit the amount of spices or adjust them to your liking. The chocolate flavor of the cookies is lovely in itself!
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