Recipe by Phil Franco
Mostaccioli are typical Neapolitan cookies, also common through Southern Italy. The name of these cookies comes from the Latin mustacea, a cake made out of “must,” or unfermented grape juice. Cato, the anciant Roman philosopher, describes a cake made of combination of rye flour, cumin, cheese, anise, and eggs, wrapped in bay leaves. In the modern traditional recipe, there is not much left of the ancient Roman one, other than a similarity in the name. But mostaccioli have been traditionally very popular all throughout central and southern Italy for centuries. There are many different versions, some containing honey or chocolate, some harder or softer, but all very rich in spices. Mostaccioli can become very tough if they become dry, but the chocolate icing help keep them soft for a longer time.
- 2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup cocoa
- 1⁄2 cup roasted almonds, ground
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1⁄3 cup milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar
- candy sprinkles
Directions See How It's Made
- 1. Prepare Dough: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, roasted almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and pepper. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat granulated sugar with butter until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. At low speed, beat in egg. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until combined, occasionally scraping bowl.
- 2. With cocoa-dusted hands, shape dough by level tablespoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 2 inches apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake cookies 7 to 9 minutes or until puffed (they will look dry and slightly cracked). Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- 3. Chocolate Glaze: When cookies cool, in medium bowl, with wire whisk or fork, gradually mix cocoa with 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth. Gradually stir in confectioners' sugar and blend well. Dip top of each cookie into glaze. Place cookies on wire rack set over waxed paper to catch any drips. Immediately sprinkle cookies with decors. Allow glaze to set, about 20 minutes. Store cookies, with waxed paper between layers, in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 3 days, or in freezer up to 3 months.