Mostaccioli are cookies created from a dense, honey flavored dough that encases a chocolate and almond filling. This traditional Calabrian specialty is a great addition to any cookie tray, and the holidays just would not be the same at our house if I didn’t have these cookies on hand for my family to nibble on.
To toast the almonds, spread out on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven until they are just beginning to turn light brown. Because of the honey, the dough can be sticky so keep all surfaces lightly floured while working with the dough. If you roll out the dough on a lightly floured parchment paper, you can use the parchment to easily fold the dough over the filling.
I originally was given this recipe from Mother-In-Law and like most Italian women she never had the recipe written down, but made it every year at Christmas. When I asked her for the ingredients, she listed all the ingredients she includes, but wasn’t as exact when it came to measurements. My Mother-In-Law cooks by feel, adding a pinch of this, and a dash of that and knows just how things should feel when she is baking.
Unfortunately, having never made this traditional cookie with her, I have worked with the list of ingredients I was given and every year I make a few new adjustments. I just made my mostaccioli for Christmas 2011 and feel I’ve made the best batch I’ve ever made so I am updating this recipe with my new measurements and instructions.
- 4 Cups Lightly Toasted, Whole, Blanched Almonds
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 250 Grams (8 Ounces) Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 8 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Cups Liquid Honey
- 4 Large Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Anisette Liqueur
- 2 Teaspoons Almond Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the flour on a pastry board or the counter, add the baking powder, and soda and create a well in the center.
- Add the egg and using a fork, mix into the flour.
- Begin to add the honey into this well, using a fork to combine with the flour.
- Continue to use all the honey along with the anisette and almond extract, and mix until the dough until smooth.
- Cut four pieces of parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, then roll each into a ball on a sheet of lightly floured parchment into a rectangle about 14 by 6 inches in size.
- Continue to roll each ball of dough on a sheet of parchment in the same manner.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler along with the 1/2 cup honey until melted, then stir in the cocoa and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the almonds into this mixture, and set aside to cool slightly.
- Along one side of the first rectangle, just off center, place 1/4 of the chocolate mixture all along the length of the dough spreading it down the length of the dough.
- Use the parchment to fold one side of the dough over the other side to enclose the almond filling.
- Press the edges to seal and prevent the filling from leaking out.
- Continue to prepare each of the four loaves in the same manner and then place theses loaves along with the parchment on cookie sheets.
- Use a fork to pierce the top of the loaves in several places.
- Bake for about 20 minutes.
- Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon or two of water and then brush over the four loaves.
- Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool completely and slice into 1/2 inch slices to serve.