One of the best Italian Christmas cookies, this authentic Italian mostaccioli cookies recipe calls for easy ingredients and no butter or eggs.
If you're looking for delicious Italian Christmas cookies to add to your Christmas cookie tray, try this authentic Italian mostaccioli cookies recipe.
Made with the most simple ingredients, chocolate mostaccioli cookies are made without butter or eggs, making them a great allergy-friendly option for a holiday dessert, or a Christmas gift to share.
WHAT ARE MOSTACCIOLI?
Mostaccioli (also known as mustaccioli or mustacciuoli) is a traditional cookie from Naples, usually served at Christmas time.
According to many traditions the name derives from the main ingredient: the “must” from the Latin "mustum", which is squeezed grape juice waiting to be turned into wine.
Whilst in many regions you can still find these Italian chocolate cookies made with must, we will be focusing on the Neapolitan version.
Neapolitan mostaccioli also known by the name "mustacciuoli" are soft Christmas cookies in the shape of a rhombus, flavored with almond and pisto ( a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and star anice), and covered with chocolate.
This mostaccioli cookie recipe calls for the most simple ingredients, and no butter or eggs are required!
- Cocoa powder: You can use unsweetened Dutch-process or natural cocoa, both work, I like to use Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Water: You need a bit of water to bring the dough together, you might need a little less or more, depending on the flour you use.
- Flour: I use classic Italian 00 flour, you can use all-purpose flour and adjust the water amount accordingly.
- Orange: you'll need both the juice and the zest, so opt for organic orange if possible.
- Dark chocolate: I like to use a 70% dark chocolate bar, but you can also use 50-60% dark chocolate, chocolate chips, or white chocolate for a fun twist.
- Baking powder: traditionally you should use baker's ammonia, but baking powder works just fine.
- Pisto: This Neapolitan mix of spices is made by mixing 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of star anise, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of cloves. You can substitute it with cinnamon powder.
- Honey: use your favorite honey, I like to use wildflower raw honey. For vegan mostaccioli substitute with agave nectar.
- Sugar: I use fine white raw cane sugar, but regular caster sugar works just fine.
- Almond flour: use almond flour or blanched almonds blitzed in a mixer until you have a fine, powdery flour. Almond flour and almond meal are the same thing, ground almonds.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MOSTACCIOLI COOKIES
Making Italian cookies mostaccioli couldn't be any easier. The whole recipe takes about 25 minutes and 4 simple steps:
Scroll down until the end of the post for the full printable recipe
STEP 1. In a large bowl whisk all the dry ingredients, then add honey and orange juice.
STEP 2. Slowly pour in the water, and mix with your hands until you have an even and elastic dough.
STEP 3. Roll the dough about ½" thick and cut the cookies using a diamond-shaped cookie cutter. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely in the pan, then transfer on a cooling rack.
Tip: If you do not have a diamond cookie cutter, you can cut the dough into 2" wide strips. Cut strips on a 60° angle 2" apart to create diamonds.
STEP 4. Pour melted chocolate over the cookies and allow them to set, then serve.
Store your Italian mostaccioli cookies in an airtight container or sealed jar. Keep them in a cool spot in your kitchen or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Yes, you can freeze them! I like to freeze my mostaccioli unglazed. Once you need them, thaw them in the fridge overnight, then glaze them with chocolate a few hours before serving.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook!
Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
- 500 g all purpose flour or flour 00
- 150 g sugar
- 150 g almond flour
- 35 g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon or pisto*
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 150 g honey
- 100 ml water, lukewarm
- 200 g dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 360°F/180°C with the fan option off (or 320°F/160°C with the fan option on). Arrange the oven tray onto the middle shelf.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and baking powder, then add honey, orange zest and juice.
- Slowly pour in the water, and mix with your hands until you have an even and elastic dough. You might need a little more water, if so, add 1 extra tablespoon at a time until the dough is compact and elastic and no longer sticky.
- Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, about ½" thick and cut the cookies using a diamond-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer them on a baking tray.
- Bake the mostaccioli cookies for 15 minutes, then remove the baking tray from the oven and allow them to cool completely, then transfer them on a cooling rack. Arrange a baking tray under the cooling rack.
- When the cookies are cool, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water or in the microwave, and allow it to cool slightly. Pour melted chocolate over each cookie so that one side is completely covered, using a knife to help spread the chocolate if needed. Let the chocolate harden completely then serve the cookies.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.