Italian Chocolate Toto Cookies are spicy balls made with walnuts, mini chocolate chips, cocoa, and orange flavoring. These Christmas cookies aren't overly sweet. Instead, the sweetness comes from the chocolate orange glaze and rainbow sprinkles. The treats are so popular you'll find them on cookie trays for every special occasion.
Chocolate Toto - an Italian cookie by many names
Italian Chocolate Toto Cookies by any other name still taste as good. Many know them as Dudu's or Tetú's. If you ask for Meatball Cookies, they'll know what you mean.
Inquire about an Italian Christmas Cookie recipe, and you'll get directions for Italian Chocolate Toto Cookies. Ask for Ball cookies? You'll get the same. Chocolate Wedding Cookies? Ditto.
Every nonna and mamma will swear that theirs is the only traditional recipe. It doesn't matter. They all taste delicious.
Italian Christmas Toto - Black Pepper and Chocolate Cookie
Germany has a tiny spice cookie, Pfeffernüsse, that is a lot like Toto. They both have pepper in the ingredients as well as a gingerbread aroma and taste. The German biscuit, though, does not have cocoa or walnuts in it.
Mamma didn't make cookies. Our Christmas treats were fritole, strucolo, or pan dolce. Desserts were for special occasions only.
Helen, my mother-in-law, was a human cookie factory. She would start her cookie baking right after Thanksgiving and not quit until the week before Christmas. She wouldn't see or hear from "friends" all year long, but they did show up at her doorstep after all the cookies were made. ????
Italian Chocolate Toto Cookies -- quick and easy holiday cookie
I thought that the Christmas cookies would be hard to handle, but I was wrong. The dough is not sticky, and it's easy to roll out.
Forming the balls is a breeze! Honey and I were able to get four dozen made in no time. Once they cooled, we dipped the spicy cookies in a chocolate orange flavored glaze. The flavoring I used was Fiori di Sicilia from King Arthur Flour.
I put Fiori di Sicilia in my pinza. The aroma and taste is a combination of vanilla and orange. It's fantastic in any sweet bread or cookie recipe that calls for either vanilla or orange.
Another Italian holiday cookie that's a classic is the Lemon Ricotta Cookie. This recipe is also easy to make and looks fantastic on cookie dessert tray. And if you're looking for an unusual cookie recipe that is stunning, it's the Neapolitan Cookies with the gorgeous three stripes.
Here are some great Christmas Ideas for Home Bakers.
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
YOU MAY NEED...
We love Fiori di Sicilia flavoring. I've been using it for years and the scent and taste is amazing. It smells so good I'd use it as perfume. One Whiff and I know you'll be as enamored of it as we are.
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Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
Italian Chocolate Toto Cookies |Traditional Christmas Treat
- 3 ¼ cups 406.25 grams All-Purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups 300 grams sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup 21.5 grams unsweetened cocoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper not too coarsely ground
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 153.75 grams solid vegetable shortening
- ½ to ⅔ cup 122-162 ⅔ grams milk
- 1 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia Orange and Vanilla flavoring
- ⅔ cup 78 grams chopped walnuts
- 1 cup mini-chocolate chips or 175 grams (6 oz.)
- 1 ½ cups 180 grams confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Cocoa
- 3 to 3 ½ Tablespoons milk
- Colored sprinkles for decorating
- 1 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring orange and vanilla flavor
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly spray parchment paper and place on cookie sheets.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together on to wax paper. Repeat this several times to thoroughly combine the ingredients -- I did it 4 times.
- Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Add the shortening. Pulse the processor several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (You may do this by hand but it's quick and easy with the processor.
- Combine the Fiori di Sicilia with ½ cup of milk.
- Pour the dry ingredient mixture into a large bowl. Add the chopped nuts and chcolate chips and stir to combine.
- Add the milk to the dry ingredients and work it in with your hands until it is well blended. If it seems too dry add the additional milk until the dough holds together but isn't sticky.
- On non-stick silpat or a wooden board knead the dough a few times. Then cut into four equal parts. Roll each piece into a long rope. Cut that rope into 12 even pieces. Make a ball out of each piece and then put the ball on the parchment paper.
- Place 1 inch apart on the paper. Continue with each rope.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are firm.
- While the cookies are cooling make the glaze.
- Sift the Confectioners' sugar and cocoa several times until both are combined. Put the mixture in a bowl and add the 3 Tablespoons milk and the flavoring. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk if necessary to make a thin frosting.
- Once the cookies are cool, dip the tops into the icing, place on racks that are over wax paper (to catch the drips), and sprinkle with the colored spinkles.
- Let the frosting dry completely before layering the cookies between wax/parchment paper. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
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