Grandma Rosie's Italian Chocolate Ball Cookies

My Grandma Rosie was a loving soul who inspired my love of baking and taught me that food is love.  In honor of her birthday (she would be turning 97), I'm sharing my favorite recipe of hers - Italian Chocolate Ball Cookies. I did make some tweaks - used Coffee Syrup to boost the chocolatey-ness and olive oil and dark chocolate chips to bump up the health factor - but they still have the deliciousness of a grandmother's touch.

It's not the most precise recipe - my notes literally say, "mix oil and sugar; milk, baking powder, etc. flour last (as needed for wet dough)." No mention of sifting dry ingredients first or even folding in the chips. That's how she worked - recipes from memory and instinct, so writing it down was novel for her, but this recipe is easy and forgiving and you only dirty one bowl!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or canola)
  • 1/2 cup Coffee Syrup*
  • 1/4 cup sugar (*if not using Coffee Syrup, use 3/4 c sugar)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (more if needed)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup confectionary sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp Coffee Syrup (optional)
  • water

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large bowl, whisk together oil, Coffee Syrup, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Sprinkle on cocoa, cinnamon and baking powder and whisk a bit. Add flour and stir until flour is just mixed in. If dough seems too wet, add more flour. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop ~1" balls and then roll them in palms to get them smooth. Place about 1" apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Bake for about 12 minutes until slightly firm to the touch. Cool on the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

In a pourable measuring cup, stir confectionary sugar, cocoa, and Coffee Syrup (if using) to form a paste. Add just enough water to get a thick but slightly flowing consistency (add a little at a time, stirring in between).

Place rack of cookies over a cookie sheet or piece of parchment (to catch the dripped glaze) and drizzle each cookie with glaze (note: you can make your glaze thicker and "frost" each cookie).

Let frosting set, then store in an airtight container. I like to store them in the fridge as I think they taste even better cold!

Happy Birthday Grandma Rosie!! Thank you for all your love and wonderful treats! Love, Tina

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