Do you like “old school” Italian cookies? If you do, I have the perfect cookie for you. These Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies are super moist and cake-like in texture. Come and take a look at how easy they are to make!
By definition, a drop cookie is one where the dough is simply collected (by a spoon or ice cream scooper) and placed or “dropped” onto the cookie sheet. It truly is one of the easiest kinds of cookies to be made. An example of a classic North American drop cookie is of course the oatmeal cookie; if you are of Italian origin, you might be familiar with another drop cookie; these Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies.
Although I consider this recipe to be in the category of drop cookies, I will add one step to this simple process; let me explain what I mean.
The humble beginnings of this recipe will have you sifting the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the spices together. I know what you’re thinking… this is a Christmas cookie. A quick glance at the list of ingredients would definitely confirm this. After all, we are talking about cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. But these cookies are just mildly spiced, with just a hint of orange. And they are definitely not a sweet cookie. So, I would definitively agree that they can be considered an “old school” Christmas cookie, but, this really is a wonderful cookie that can be made year-round.
Okay, so set the dry ingredients aside and let’s whisk some eggs.
I will usually whisk the room temperature eggs on medium-high speed until they are frothy looking. This will usually take about 3-4 minutes with the whisk attachment of the stand mixture.
S-l-o-w-l-y add the sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened; another 3-4 minutes.
Add the milk, oil, vanilla extract, zest and combine well.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Since the dough is soft, I will usually refrigerate it for about 30 minutes or so.
So now for the drop cookie part or the cookie drop part…regardless… with a medium sized cookie scoop, portion and drop the dough on a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper.
This is where I add an extra step; I will roll each cookie drop between the palms of my hands, before I roll them in icing sugar. You could of course frost these cookies or you can also leave them plain. It really is up to you! My personnel preference with these Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies is the crinkle look.
Once again, these are really a mildly spiced, not too sweet cookie. Now, if you are looking for a decadent rich cookie, I would refer you to these Dark Chocolate Espresso Snowcap Cookies.
You can tell that these drop cookies truly have moist, cake-like qualities.
Origin of the recipe for Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies :
If you like these “old style” Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies, I have the perfect cookbook for you. It is called Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray; this is where I adapted this recipe from. I was first introduced to this cookbook over a decade ago through the recommendation of a friend. It is a paperback cookbook with no pictures. That’s right, no pictures. But the recipes more than make up for this.
I remember my mom making something similar to this cookie but unfortunately, I have no written recipe. So I made a couple of changes to Sweet Maria “Chocolate Clove Drops”, trying to get closer to what Mom used to make. I modified the proportions of spices and cocoa; I replaced the shortening with vegetable oil; and I added orange zest because I remember my mom’s cookies had orange zest in them. There is another variation of this cookie that incorporated nuts and coffee… but that one will have to wait until Christmas 😉
These Italian Choco Orange Spice Drop Cookies can be enjoyed year round with a cool, refreshing glass of milk.
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- ⅔ cups icing sugar
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the spices. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-high speed until nice and frothy (about 3-4 minutes).
- Slowly add sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened..
- Add the milk, oil, extract, and the zest. Combine well.
- Remove bowl from stand.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon until well combined, dough will be soft.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Position rack to middle.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough with medium sized cookie scoop and drop on a floured surface.
- Roll each piece into a smooth ball and then roll in icing sugar.
- Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Continue to roll until all of the dough is used.
- Bake for about 8 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.
Thanks for dropping by,
Ciao for now!