White and dark chocolate cookies on a silver rack

Italian Mostaccioli Cookie Recipe

A traditional Italian cookie with ground almonds, sweetened with honey, scented with both orange and lemon zest, cloves, cinnamon and dipped in chocolate.
Course Cookie
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 1/2 dozen
Author Marisa


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups almonds very finely ground
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder I used dutch processed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • orange zest from 1 large orange
  • lemon zest from 1 medium sized lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Limoncello or substitute with the juice of one lemon
  • 3 ounces coarsely grated semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces white chocolate
  • vegetable oil for thinning the chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, finely ground almonds, cocoa powder, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and salt then set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the eggs together.
  • Mix in the sugar and honey, beating until very well combined.
  • Stir in the orange and lemon zest, the vanilla extract and limoncello.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined.
  • Stir in the grated chocolate.
  • The dough will be very soft and pliable.
  • Working with small portions of the dough at a time (about 1 heaping cupful) transfer to a well floured surface.
  • With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/3 of an inch thick.
  • Use a 2 inch diamond cookie cutter to shape and cut out the cookies and then transfer to the prepared baking sheet while spacing them about 1 inch apart. (dipping the cookie cutter in flour before each use will tremendously help for easy release.)
  • Re-rolled the scraps to shape and cut just 1 more time.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. The cookies should still be slightly soft to the touch when ready.
  • While one batch is baking in the oven continue rolling and cutting with the remaining dough.
  • Make sure the cookies cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
  • Melt the semi-sweet chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave, using a microwave safe bowl on high for about 90 seconds stirring at 30 seconds interval.
  • Thin the chocolate with a little bit of vegetable oil to loosen the consistency somewhat for easy dipping.
  • Dip half a batch of the cookies into the melted semi-sweet chocolate and place on a cooling rack till the chocolate sets.
  • Repeat by melting the white chocolate and coating the remaining cookies.
  • Before the white chocolate sets, use a piping bag filled with dark melted chocolate to dot the tops then simply run a toothpick through the dots to create a pretty pattern.
  • Allow for the chocolate to set completely before storing.