Italian Pepper Balls

    8 hours 50 mins

    These keep well and also freeze well. Rum or whisky works well in place of the brandy.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 75 

    • 3/4 cup (180g) shortening
    • 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
    • 1/2 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 cups (500g) plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 cup (250ml) milk
    • 1 fluid ounce (30ml) brandy
    • 1/2 cup (70g) finely chopped walnuts
    • 1/3 cup (80g) butter
    • 3/4 cup (90g) icing sugar
    • 5 tablespoons (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 fluid ounces (60ml) brandy

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:8hr chilling  ›  Ready in:8hr50min 

    1. Melt shortening and cool. Add in caster sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, black pepper, ground cloves, allspice and ground cinnamon. Stir in flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of 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 2cm in diameter. Bake at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 20 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Remove from tray and roll in glaze.
    5. To Make Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup of butter, 3/4 cup icing 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.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    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 tast the SC so I added another 1-2 ounces even with that the flavour is not strong. I read the review about the glaze being the messiest part and I think I have a good solution. I was able to fit the entire batch onto two cookies sheets. I mixed the glaze in my biggest tupperware bowl. Then I set aside approximate 1/2 of the glaze. AFter the first sheet was done baking I put the balls into the tupperware bowl with the glaze and put the lid on the ball. Then I carefully tossed/rolled the balls around in the bowl. Then I poured them onto a cookies sheet with wax paper. I had to flip some of the balls over so the flattened side was on the bottom but other then a bit of chocolate glaze on two fingers it was not messy at all. Repeat with the second sheet and remainder of the glaze. So far only my daugther and I have taste tested but we both agree that they are great!! I will definately make these again but next time I will increase the amounts for the spices (we like things spicy!!)  -  12 Jul 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    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!  -  01 Aug 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    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.  -  20 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)