Italian Chocolate Cookies

Italian Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 350 cookies. Recipe from the late Mary Mannino is provided by Margaret Mannino.

7 cups all-purpose flour

7 tsps. baking powder

1½ cups cocoa powder

2 tsps. ground clove

2 cups sugar

2 cups shortening

About 1½ cups evaporated milk (start with less, then add more as needed)

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1½ cups finely chopped pecans

Icing glaze

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, ground clove and sugar. Blend in the shortening, working it in by hand. (Wash hands carefully before starting. An electric mixer can be used, but Margaret Mannino only uses her hands.)

2. In another bowl, mix together milk, eggs and vanilla and then add to dry ingredients. Mix together (using hands) until dough is smooth and shiny, then blend in pecans.

3. Roll into small round balls, smooth with no cracks in dough. Place about 70 balls on each ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool.

4. To make icing glaze: In a large bowl, gradually add about 11/2 cups milk to about 2 pounds of confectioners’ sugar until reaching desired thickness. Roll cookies in glaze mixture and place on wax paper. Allow to dry overnight.