Chocolate Cherry Totos

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasCookiesWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasCookiesWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone. 

Since my guys are both allergic to tree nuts, there are lots of recipes from my childhood that I can’t make anymore.  One of the ones I miss around the holidays are Totos or chocolate meatball cookies.  Every Italian family has a version of them, traditionally with walnuts in the dough, and my family sprinkled more walnuts on top.

I was venting (okay, maybe I was whining) to my friend Kathy about how much I missed them. She told me that she makes a variation of them that uses chopped maraschino cherries instead of the walnuts, and she was nice enough to share the recipe.

I only made one slight change to the version she gave me, and that was in the size of the scoop.  I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop instead of a teaspoon.   Using a scoop makes getting even portions a breeze, but be sure to then roll them into balls by hand. 

The glaze is what really puts these over the top.  It's very simple to put together. If you prefer white icing, omit the cocoa and increase the powdered sugar by 1/3c. Top with whatever sprinkles are appropriate to the occasion.

I have a huge fan of the chocolate and cherry combination, and it was so nice to be able to share these with my guys. Kathy, you are awesome, thank you so much!  I hope you all are enjoying #ChristmasCookiesWeek so far, be sure to go and check out what the other #FestiveFoodies are making using the links down below.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway, there are four great prize packages donated by our sponsors. You can get the details on the prizes here, and the entry form is at the bottom of the post.

Chocolate Cherry Totos

Chocolate Cherry Totos
Yield: 4 dozen


  • 4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 2 T instant coffee
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cloves
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 3/4 c shortening
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2t vanilla
  • 3/4 c chopped maraschino cherries
  • 3/4 c mini chocolate chips
  • Icing
  • 2lb bag confectioner's sugar
  • 1/3c cocoa
  • 2/3c warm milk
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • Multicolored sprinkles


  1. Put the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Add shortening and work with your fingers until a crumbly texture is achieved. Make a well in the center and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a large wooden spoon to combine. The dough will be sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scoop dough by the tablespoonful and shape into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool completely on racks.
  3. Mix warm milk and butter with sugar and cocoa until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Dip cookies into icing, and let the excess run off. Place on racks. Top with sprinkles. Let icing set up before serving.

Source: Slightly adapted from Kathy F's recipe
chocolate, cherry
Cookies, desserts
Created using The Recipes Generator

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Tuesday Recipes

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authorHello, my name is Cherine, but you can call me "Chicho" :) I am Lebanese and I live in Paris. Welcome to my internet kitchen, grab a cup of coffee, a macaron and get comfy! This blog is my recipe journal. It's where I write about the recipes that intersect my everyday life. Often the recipes are from my cookbook collection, my magazines, my favorite blogs... sometimes not, they might come from my mother, a friend, a neighbour... or I might write about a recipe I invented myself.
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