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Italian Pepper Balls

Rated as 3.83 out of 5 Stars

"These keep well and also freeze well. Rum or whisky works well in place of the brandy."
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servings 77
Original recipe yields 75 servings (150 cookies)


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  1. Melt shortening and cool. Add in white sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, black pepper, ground cloves, allspice and ground cinnamon. Stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Stir in milk, 1 ounce brandy, rum or whisky and chopped nuts.
  2. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 4-8 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Break off little pieces of dough and roll into small balls, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Remove from pan and roll in glaze.
  5. To Make Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup of butter, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, 5 tablespoons cocoa, and 2 ounces of brandy, rum or whisky. Mix until smooth. Roll cooled cookies in glaze and place on waxed paper to dry.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 77 calories; 3.6 9.8 1.1 2 22 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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These cookies were very good and really quite easy to make. I followed the recipe almost exactly. I didn't have brandy so I used Southern comfort. After the dough was mixed we couldn't really...

The glaze was the hardest and messiest part, and I didn't have enough for the whole recipe -- maybe I did something wrong? But the cookies were devoured!

Oh, I had high hopes for these cookies, but they are almost not edible. The alcohol flavor is too much and there is really nothing to balance that out.

I thought these would be complex and tasty, but they were overwhelmingly alcoholic tasting and they got stale quickly, even though they were stored in an airtight container. Even fresh the textu...