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I’m very new to Italian Chocolate Meatball Cookies but I plan to make up for lost time. I only heard of them recently, when one of our readers mentioned them and I was so intrigued that I looked them up immediately. I knew they were a must make! A “meatball cookie” has a way of catching your attention… but rest assured that there’s no meat involved here. Rather, they’re sweet and soft chocolate cookies that just look like a meatball — the tongue in cheek name is nothing to fear. Warmly spiced and studded with nuts and chocolate chips, these definitely aren’t your average chocolate cookie. If, like me, you haven’t heard of them before, you’ll definitely want to make them and immediately get acquainted.

Chocolate Meatball Cookies are easy to make. The dough uses oil, so there’s no creaming or melting butter to be done, but the first step is to beat your eggs until they’re nice and thick and frothy. You can use a mixer for the liquids, but the flour and the mix-ins should be stirred in by hand — it’s a thick dough with an abundance of mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

The dough doesn’t need to chill, but you do want to let it rest. This gives the flour a chance to absorb some of the moisture before you get to rolling the dough into balls. It’s a sticky dough, but if you work quickly, it’s not too much of a mess. I found it helps to use a cookie scoop to get it in a round shape and then quickly roll it between my hands to neaten it up.

You definitely want these to be soft, so ten minutes is all they need in the oven. There’s no crunch here. They’re traditionally topped with a glaze and sprinkles — I’ve gone with a chocolate glaze, but a vanilla one works equally well. (And you can definitely opt for different colored sprinkles to suit whatever holiday you might be making these for!)

They’re a chocolate cookie unlike any other. While they rely on cocoa powder and chocolate chips for the chocolate portion, they don’t stop there for flavor. There’s also cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice mixed in so they have a warming spice situation going on as well. It’s a really unique flavor — it’s not just about the chocolate, it’s not just about the spices, or even the sprinkles; it’s how all of it comes together in one cute little meatball-like cookie. And it does that beautifully.

Yield 36 cookies

15m prep time

10m cook time

20m inactive

Rated 4.5 out of 5
Rated by 2 reviewers
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  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the glaze:
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sprinkles, as needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy with the whisk attachment of an electric mixer. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until pale and thick.
  4. Gradually drizzle in oil, followed by milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour mixture in two additions. Mix until smooth. Stir in walnuts and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Cover bowl and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Roll rested dough in teaspoonful balls between your palms and place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake until just set, about 10 minutes. Cookies should be soft, take care not to overtake.
  9. Let cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  10. To make the icing:
  11. In a clean bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and about 1/2 cup milk. Stir until no lumps remain. Consistency should be pourable, like a glaze. If needed, add more milk or powdered sugar.
  12. Pour about 1 teaspoon over each cookie. Top with sprinkles (if desired) while glaze is still wet.
  13. Let the glaze set, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.