Aunt Arlene's Italian Christmas Balls

These are my favorite Christmas cookie. My great-aunt only made these once a year.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder ¾ cup white sugar ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup butter, softened ⅓ cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup chopped walnuts ¼ cup chopped candied cherries 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate 1 tablespoon butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups confectioners' sugar ¼ cup hot milk

Nutritional information

No nutrition information available

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 2. Sift 3 cups flour twice. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, white sugar and cocoa. Cream 1 cup butter or margarine; blend into flour mixture. Add ⅓ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cherries and nuts. Mix thoroughly with hands until well blended. (Dough should be the consistency of pie crust, but not sticky.) 3. For each cookie, pinch off about 1 teaspoon dough. Roll by hands into balls, each about one-inch in diameter. Place on greased baking sheets. Do not flatten. Bake about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets; cool on racks. When cool, drizzle each generously with chocolate frosting. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles if desired. 4. To make Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate squares over low heat. Cream with 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cups of confectioner's sugar. Gradually add hot milk, beating until smooth.