Italian Chocolate Cookies

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These are my absolute favorite cookie.  I love the hint of cloves sweetened with the cocoa and light powdered sugar icing.  You can add chocolate chips (truly my favorite way), raisins, or nuts to these as well.

Growing up this was a staple Christmas cookie in our family.  I remember watching my mom make them and waiting until they were cool enough to grab a few off the tray!

I alternate between our family recipe and an Italian friend of mine who has a slightly different version.  Her’s contain less clove and uses Crisco in place of the lard our family recipe calls for.

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They are easy to make and look pretty when displayed with other cookies.  The taste is fabulous and even better with a cup of coffee or tea!

Here is the recipe I used for these cookies

4 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cocoa

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP Crisco (shortening)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP milk

3/4 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or chopped nuts)

Mix flour, salt, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, sugar, chips and Crisco with a pastry blender until pea size balls form.

Mix vanilla, egg and milk together in a separate bowl.  Add to flour mixture and stir by hand until all dry ingredients are blended.

Roll into walnut size balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Dip in icing or frosting when cool and decorate

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