Sicilian Chocolate Spice Cookies: Tetú


Tetú are Sicilian chocolate spice cookies.  These cookies are outrageously dense with chocolate, spice and orange scented mouthfuls.  Depending on what part of Sicily you’re from, they are topped with either a chocolate, lemon, or vanilla glaze.  Tetú cookies are incredibly easy to make.  This is my mother Maria’s recipe.  Mom would use Nestlé’s Choco Bake.  It’s almost impossible to find it in store these days but if you happen to come across some, I highly recommend you use it because it results in a moister cookie.


Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 3 dozen.

For the Cookies:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup cocoa powder or 3 envelopes Nestle Choco Bake
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coffee or orange-flavored liqueur
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

MAKE THE COOKIES:  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Line the bottom of two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.  In a mixer bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the flour mixture, milk, and extract.  Stir at low speed until combined.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch diameter balls, about the size of a large walnut.  Place on cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.

MAKE THE GLAZE: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, liqueur, milk, extract, and orange zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze mixture, turn right side up and place on a rack for several hours, until the glaze hardens. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Once cooled, the cookies can be frozen unglazed up to two months. Glaze the cookies several hours before serving.

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