These keep well and also freeze well. Rum or whisky works well in place of the brandy.
INGREDIENTS (for 7 servings):
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup 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 all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 1 fluid ounce brandy
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 fluid ounces brandy
Melt shortening and cool. Add in white sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, black pepper, ground cloves, allspice and ground cinnamon. Stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Stir in milk, 1 ounce brandy, rum or whisky and chopped nuts.
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 4-8 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Break off little pieces of dough and roll into small balls, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Remove from pan and roll in glaze.
To Make Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup of butter, 3/4 cup confectioners' 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.