These cookies are one of the favorite cookies my Mother-In-Law used to make. I truly love these cookies because they have a good chew, but still are tender, and are not too sweet, making them perfect to enjoy with a cup of espresso for an afternoon snack. They are more of an adult cookie as they are not very sweet, but my grandkids love them as well. Don’t worry about being too professional in shaping them, as you want them to look a little rustic so people know you made them yourself!
My Mother-In-Law used to make three different types of ciambelle cookies, which are basically a ring shaped cookie or bread. This recipe uses wine and anise seeds, and is my favorite type of ciambelle, or ring shaped cookie that she used to make. They are also great with a glass of white wine for a before or after dinner snack. I had to follow my Mother-In-Law around while she made these in order to get the recipe when she was visiting one year, as she kept all of her recipes in her head, and like a true Italian cook, prepares by feel as much as anything else. This recipe does make a LOT of cookies, but you could either cut the recipe in half, or freeze half the cookies to enjoy later. My SIL Nancy brought us dinner as we sat at my Mom’s bedside as she was dying last month and she brought these cookies as dessert. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. I have the absolute best sister-in-laws. You often hear horror stories about in-laws, but I lucked out big time when I married my husband. My husband’s three sisters and his brother are the absolute best.
Deborah Mele Revised 2019
- 2 Cups of Sugar
- 3 Cups of White Wine
- 1 Cup of Oil (I find olive oil too strong of a flavor)
- 3 Tablespoons Anise Seeds
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 10 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- On a large board or counter top, start by making a large mound using 8 cups of flour, the sugar, anise seeds, and baking powder.
- Make a well in the center, and begin to add the wine and the oil, mixing as you go along.
- Continue in this manner, adding more flour as needed until all the liquid ingredients have been used.
- Knead for a few minutes until smooth. (The dough should resemble stiff bread dough.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and begin to shape the cookies.
- Break off a small piece, and roll it into a 1-1/2 inch thick rope about 7-8 inches long.
- Join the ends to form a ring shape. (The cookies should be about 3-4 inches across.)
- Dip the tops in the sugar, and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Cool well before storing.
- These cookies keep well in a tightly closed container, but I like to freeze half which works out well.