These are the best Meatball Cookies! An Italian Chocolate Cookie Recipe that is filled with chocolate and spices. Delicious and easy to make!
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Don't be turned off by the name! These Meatball Cookies have no meat in them... instead, they are loaded with rich cocoa, warm spices, and crunchy walnuts all covered in a smooth chocolate frosting!
Not only are the flavors irresistible, but these little cookies are incredibly easy to make, taking less than 30 minutes of active cooking time.
If you love these Italian chocolate cookies, you need to try Snowball Cookies next!
What are Meatball Cookies?
- Sweet and Spiced Treats: Meatball Cookies are sweet, spiced cookies with Italian origins. Despite the name, they do not contain any actual meat! The cookies have a rich cocoa flavor, a hint of citrus from orange zest, and a blend of warm spices.
- Round and Coated in Frosting: These cookies are typically shaped into round balls before baking, resembling meatballs. After baking, they are coated with a chocolate frosting, making them look adorable!
- Celebratory Tradition: Often associated with Italian weddings and celebrations, Meatball Cookies hold cultural significance in Italian culinary traditions.
The origin of Italian Meatball Cookies
The specific history of Italian Chocolate Meatball Cookies is not well documented, however, these spiced chocolate treats have become a cherished part of Italian-American traditions.
This beloved family recipe is often passed down through generations and continues to be enjoyed at weddings, holidays, and family gatherings!
Ingredients for Chocolate Spice Cookies
For these cookies you'll need:
- white sugar
- vegetable oil
- cocoa powder
- all purpose flour
- cinnamon, cloves
- orange zest
- baking powder
For the chocolate frosting you'll need:
How to make Meatball Cookies
- Mix sugar, water, eggs, and vegetable oil until combined. Add cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, and baking powder. Mix until combined. Stir in walnuts until combined.
- Form into 1 tablespoon balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.
- When ready to frost, mix frosting ingredients. Dip cookies into frosting and place on a cooling rack so the excess frosting drips off. Let cool at room temp for at least 2 hours so the icing hardens!
Tips for perfect Chocolate Italian Cookies
- Use a cookie scoop - This will give you perfectly shaped cookies! You can then roll them in your hands to keep them circular.
- Let the cookies cool for at least 2 hours before storing so that the icing doesn't get messy!
- Get Creative with Decorations - While the classic chocolate frosting is delicious, feel free to get creative with decorations. Sprinkle chopped nuts, colored sugar, or even a touch of flaky salt on top of the frosting before it sets for an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal.
Keeping Chocolate Spice Cookies fresh while storing
Storing: You can store these chocolate Italian Cookies for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Freezing: We don't recommend freezing this cookie dough or baked cookies. The icing can get an odd texture when frozen.
Substitutions for this Recipe:
Sugar: We don't recommend substituting white sugar.
Eggs: We don't recommend substituting eggs, but you can read this article on Egg Substitutions for Baking if you need to substitute. Try it at your own risk!
Oil: I haven't tried this recipe with other types of oil, but I think extra virgin olive oil would work!
Cinnamon, Cloves and Orange Zest: These are essential to this recipe! These cookies will not have the same flavor without them.
Milk: You can substitute milk with half and half, low fat milk or non dairy milk.
Vanilla Extract: Helps to add flavor, we don't recommend substituting.
Other easy cookie recipes:
- Pecan Snowball Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies With Mini Marshmallows
- Chocolate Caramel Cookies
Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies
For the Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare parchment lined baking sheets.
- In a mixing bowl mix together sugar, water, eggs and vegetable oil until combined.
- Add cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, baking powder. Mix until combined,
- Stir in walnuts until combined
- Form into 1 tablespoon balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.
- When ready to frost, mix together cocoa, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla.
- Dip the top of the cookies into the frosting mixture and place on a cooling rack so the excess frosting drips off.
- Let the cookies cool at room temp for at least 2 hours so the icing hardens!