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The Great Mustache Cookie: Italian Mostaccioli Recipe

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.

This version of the cooky looks a little laike a half-mustache.

This version of the cooky looks a little laike a half-mustache.

Southern Italian Desserts

A reader asked for a recipe for mostaccioli cookies for serving at Christmastime, but these treats are good any time of the year.

These spicy cake-like cookies remind me of Spanish bar cakes and are delicious, so I recommend them for any time that you want to enjoy cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a rich chocolate cake.

The chocolate reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate drinks, peppery and good. So much flavor in one cookie makes one want to dispense all others during the holidays. Just make mustache cookies!

Setting the Table With Glittery Elements

To accompany another cookie and ice cream recipe I offered for Christmas - Golden Champagne Cookies and glittery Peppermint Stardust Ice Cream with a glittering drink - I suggested using golden snow globes on the dining table.

As a setting for this chocolate cookie creation...have you ever heard of chocolate diamonds? A chocolate diamond engagement, anniversary, or other special occasion gift ring might be the one you want for your upcoming events.Served with deep, dark chocolate cookies, they will be shown to great advantage.

National Museum of Natural History: Diamonds in shades of Brown. Darker brown diamonds are also called chocolate diamonds.

National Museum of Natural History: Diamonds in shades of Brown. Darker brown diamonds are also called chocolate diamonds.

Chocolate brown diamonds are a different color than usually connected with the precious gems, nut are quite attractive. They may be a little expensive for decorating a dessert table at home, but if you are giving gifts of jewelry to intimate friends, they may be just the ticket. They would complement the chocolate spice cookies quite fully.

For something new at a Christmas Holidays engagement or anniversary party, these chocolate diamonds and chocolate spice cookies would be a real memory for the honored guests. Give them the recipe as well.

Handlebar mustache

Handlebar mustache

How Is a Cookie Like a Mustache?

The Italian word "mostacciaoli" translates into "mustache." The cookies of the same name were originally formed into "S" shapes to resemble a man's handlebar mustache. These days, they are more often found to look like chocolate snowballs covered with frost. However, a pasta dish is also the barer of the same name.


Cook Time for Mostaccioli Cookies at Only 55 Calories Each

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

8 min

28 min

60 cookies at 8 minutes per baking sheet.

This recipe will give you about 60 cookies (5 dozen) at only 55 calories each!

Note: I like to add 1/2 Cup chopped English walnuts to my recipe. If you like that flavor and texture idea, add the nuts when you combine your flour and spices in the recipe below. Some recipes call for ground almonds, but I do not care for the texture of those.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, (Baker's or Hersey's Brand or a Mexican variety)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, or butter substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

You might want to experiment by adding some dark raisins to this cookie recipe. I like the deep, sweet flavor they add.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In medium-sized bowl, place the flour, cocoa, baking powder and all the spices together.
  3. In a larger bowl, use a hand mixer set on MEDIUM to beat sugar and butter until light yellow and well mixed.
  4. Reduce speed to LOW and add the egg.
  5. At little at a time, alternate mixing in the milk and the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Dust our hands with cocoa.
  7. Take 1-tablespoon bits of dough and roll into cookie balls, placing them 2-inches apart on a dry cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in batches for 7 or 8 minutes or until puffed up and a bit cracked-looking (see photo).
  9. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
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Try these cookies for the holidays!

Finishing Options for This Recipe

Ingredients for a Frosting

  • 3 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/4 cup boiling Water
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • Sprinkles for garnish, if you like. Many cooks use white sprinkles as a tradition, to look like snow. You might like to use glittery sprinkles - make sure to read the package to ensure that they are edible.

Next Steps for Finishing

  1. In a clean medium-sized bowl, mix the 3 TBSP cocoa for the icing with a fork with 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth.
  2. Carefully stir in the powdered sugar a bit at a time and blend each addition.
  3. Dab the top of each cookie into the frosting and replace on wire rack and dust with sprinkles.
  4. Set 15 - 20 minutes and serve.
  5. Leftovers can be packed between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerated.

Some Other Options

  1. Instead of frosting and sprinkles, the cookies can by simply dusted with powdered sugar.
  2. If dipping in frosting, the baker can sprinkle the cookies with flaked coconut instead of sprinkles.
  3. You can also roll the cookie dough out and cut into diamonds or flatten dough balls into flat cookies.

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS


A.CreativeThinker on December 14, 2011:

Yes, these are definitely a very versatile cookie. Through the years our traditional cookies have become quite special. Thanks for sharing. :)



Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on December 12, 2011:

Patty: I love the recipe. I'll have to give it a try soon.

Liam Hallam from Nottingham UK on December 11, 2011:

wow these look fantastic! might have to get some in the oven.

Gypsy48 on December 11, 2011:

Those cookies look so good! Will have to try the recipe:)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 11, 2011:

These are very tasty, but there is also a traditional recipe for light-colored cookies with ground almonds. An Italian cookbook would probably have that recipe.

Merry Christmas!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 11, 2011:

These sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Eva Thomas from Georgia on December 11, 2011:

Since my mothers side of the family is from Southern Italy (Sicily) she and I plan on baking a lot of Christmas Cookies starting this week coming up. So I may have to add this recipe to my list. They sound great!!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on December 11, 2011:

I'm making them for Christmas! Just asked my Italian companion if he'd eaten them in the past and he was so quick to answer "yes, we had them when we were little, going to the cinema, they are soft and hard (but not like crunchy)..." he really really loves them...and yes, they are so easy to make.

Great Christmas Hub, thanks. You've made us happy!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on December 11, 2011:

These look pretty easy to make and anything with chocolate will get my attention. I have never heard of the chocolate diamond before, I'm curious. I don't like black diamonds but the chocolate might grow on me. After all I am a chocoholic...LOL

Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on December 11, 2011:

They look gorgeous, and as my fiancé is half Italian I might have to give those a go. The perfect Christmas treat - love it.

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