Italian Mostaccioli Cookies For Christmas

Finished cookies, flat, in left foreground among other Christmas Cookies.
Finished cookies, flat, in left foreground among other Christmas Cookies.

Southern Italian Desserts

A reader asked for a recipe for Mostaccioli Cookies for serving at Christmastime.

These spicy cake-like cookies remind me of Spanish Bar Cakes and are delicious, so I recommend them for any time that you want to enjoy cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves in a rich chocolate cake.

They also contain chocolate, reminding me of Mexican hot chocolate drinks. So much flavor in one cookie makes one want to dispense all others during the holidays.

Chocolate diamonds fashioned into a bracelet.
Chocolate diamonds fashioned into a bracelet. | Source

Setting the Table With Glittery Elements

To accompany another cookie and ice cream recipe I offered for Christmas - Golden Champagne Cookies and glittery Peppermint Stardust Ice Cream with a glittering drink - I suggested using golden snow globes on the dining table.

As a setting for this chocolate cookie creation...have you ever heard of chocolate diamonds? A chocolate diamond engagement, anniversary, or other special occasion gift ring might be the one you want for your upcoming events.Served with deep, dark chocolate cookies, they will be shown to great advantage.

Chocolate brown diamonds are a different color than usually connected with the precious gems, nut are quite attractive. They may be a little expensive for decorating a dessert table at home, but if you are giving gifts of jewelry to intimate friends, they may be just the ticket. They would complement the chocolate spice cookies quite fully.

For something new at a Christmas Holidays Engagement or Anniversary Party, these chocolate diamonds and chocolate spice cookies would be a real memory for the honored guests.

National Museum of Natural History: Diamonds in shades of Brown. Darker brown diamonds are also called chocolate diamonds.
National Museum of Natural History: Diamonds in shades of Brown. Darker brown diamonds are also called chocolate diamonds. | Source

How Is a Cookie Like a Mustache?

The Italian word "mostacciaoli" translates into "mustache." The cookies of the same name were originally formed into "S" shapes to resemble a man's handlebar mustache. These days, they are more often found to look like chocolate snowballs covered with frost. However, a pasta dish is also the barer of the same name.

Handlebar mustache
Handlebar mustache | Source

Try these cookies for the holidays!

5 stars for Mostaccioli Cookies
Remove from oven when cookies have this appearance.
Remove from oven when cookies have this appearance.
Finished product dusted with powdered sugar instead of sprinkles.
Finished product dusted with powdered sugar instead of sprinkles.

Mostaccioli Cookies -- 55 Calories Each

This recipe will give you about 60 cookies (5 dozen) at only 55 calories each!

Note: I like to add 1/2 Cup chopped English Walnuts to my recipe. If you like that flavor and texture idea, add the nuts when you combine your flour and spices in the recipe below. Some recipes call for ground almonds, but I do not care for the texture of those.


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa (Baker's or Hersey's Brand or a Mexican variety)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup or 1 stick of Butter or butter substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 Large Whole Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Vitamin D Milk


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In medium-sized bowl, place the flour, cocoa, baking powder and all the spices together.
  • In a larger bowl, use a hand mixer set on MEDIUM to beat sugar and butter until light yellow and well mixed.
  • Reduce speed to LOW and add the egg.
  • At little at a time, alternate mixing in the milk and the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Dust our hands with cocoa.
  • Take 1-tablespoon bits of dough and roll into cookie balls, placing them 2-inches apart on a dry cookie sheet.
  • Bake in batches for 7 or 8 minutes or until puffed up and a bit cracked-looking (see photo).
  • Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

You might want to experiment by adding some dark raisins to this cookie recipe.

Finishing Options


  • 3 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/4 Cup boiling Water
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Sprinkles for garnish, if you like. Many cooks use white sprinkles as a tradition, to look like snow. You might like to use glittery sprinkles - make sure to read the package to ensure that they are edible.


  • In a clean medium-sized bowl, mix the 3 TBSP cocoa for the icing with a fork with 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth.
  • Carefully stir in the powdered sugar a bit at a time and blend each addition.
  • Dab the top of each cookie into the frosting and replace on wire rack and dust with sprinkles.
  • Set 15 - 20 minutes and serve.
  • Leftovers can be packed between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerated.


  • Instead of frosting and sprinkles, the cookies can by simply dusted with powdered sugar.
  • If dipping in frosting, the baker can sprinkle the cookies with flaked coconut instead of sprinkles.
  • You can also roll the cookie dough out and cut into diamonds or flatten dough balls into flat cookies.

© 2011 Patty Inglish

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Comments 10 comments

Emma Harvey profile image

Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

They look gorgeous, and as my fiancé is half Italian I might have to give those a go. The perfect Christmas treat - love it.

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

These look pretty easy to make and anything with chocolate will get my attention. I have never heard of the chocolate diamond before, I'm curious. I don't like black diamonds but the chocolate might grow on me. After all I am a chocoholic...LOL

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

I'm making them for Christmas! Just asked my Italian companion if he'd eaten them in the past and he was so quick to answer "yes, we had them when we were little, going to the cinema, they are soft and hard (but not like crunchy)..." he really really loves them...and yes, they are so easy to make.

Great Christmas Hub, thanks. You've made us happy!

WhiteOak profile image

WhiteOak 5 years ago from Georgia

Since my mothers side of the family is from Southern Italy (Sicily) she and I plan on baking a lot of Christmas Cookies starting this week coming up. So I may have to add this recipe to my list. They sound great!!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

These sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

These are very tasty, but there is also a traditional recipe for light-colored cookies with ground almonds. An Italian cookbook would probably have that recipe.

Merry Christmas!

Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 5 years ago

Those cookies look so good! Will have to try the recipe:)

CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

wow these look fantastic! might have to get some in the oven.

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Patty: I love the recipe. I'll have to give it a try soon.

A.CreativeThinker 5 years ago

Yes, these are definitely a very versatile cookie. Through the years our traditional cookies have become quite special. Thanks for sharing. :)



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