Meatball Cookies

My noted culinary genius pal Michael G has been baking up hordes of holiday cookies lately and out of all the goodies these "meatball" cookies most captured my attention, so after I secured the recipe I immediately set out to bake a batch. They were just as delicious as they looked, and I'm thrilled to have them in my cookie repertoire now. The scintillating spices mixed with notes of coffee, cocoa and orange conjure up a particularity warm and enveloping Christmas spirit, especially when they're paired with a mug of holiday blend coffee on a chilled December Sunday evening. May you enjoy them just as much as I do!


Meatball Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

Recipe adapted from my friend Michael G

*2 cups flour*3/4 cup sugar*1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder*1 tablespoon instant espresso*1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon*1/4 teaspoon cloves*1/4 teaspoon allspice*1/4 teaspoon salt*2 teaspoons baking powder*6 tablespoons unsalted butter*1/2 cup milk*1 egg*Scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract*1/4 teaspoon lemon extract*1/4 teaspoon orange extract*1/2 teaspoon orange zest*1/2 cup broken walnuts
Heat the oven to 375. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso, spices, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and blend well. Grate in the butter and work with your fingers until a crumbly mixture is achieved.
Make a well in the center and add the milk, egg, extracts, zest and walnuts.  Stir with a large wooden spoon to combine until the dough is sticky and damp. Cover the dough and refrigerate for a few hours.
Scoop by the teaspoonful and shape into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-11 minutes or until they are done. Let cool completely before glazing with a mix of hot milk, confectioners sugar and flavoring (I have flavored it with spiced rum or cocoa).