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Cookies with Nuts
Toto Italian cookies
Toto (Ball-shaped Italian chocolate nut cookies, flavored with rum; frosted)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Adapted from an Italian cookbook published in the 1960s

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2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 cup cocoa
3/4 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tablespoon rum

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and then cooled
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon rum


Make the frosting by mixing the ingredients together (The cookies will be dipped in the frosting while they are still warm).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix flour with sugar, baking powder and cocoa powder.

Add nuts and mix well.

Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl mix egg with milk.

Mix the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture, and work into a smooth dough (If the dough is too dry add a touch more butter, if it is too wet, add a touch more flour).

Take a piece of dough about the size of a walnut and roll into a ball between the palm of your hands.

Arrange the ball on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Continue to process the dough until it is all used up.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cookies are done -- about 9 to 12 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Spread the frosting on the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven (handling them with care as they can easily crumble and fall apart).

Allow the cookies to dry at room temperature before storing them.

Keep in fridge until needed.


These cookies are hard to do. Personally I would avoid doing them, but that's just me. I was attracted to the recipe because of its name: "Toto." The cookies were obviously not named after the famous little dog, Toto, in The Wizard of Oz, but how they got the name is anyone's guess (Wikipedia offers no explanation, except to indicate that the word, Toto, is sometimes used as a nickname for those who are called Antonio or Salvatore.). Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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