Anise Seed Cookie Rings

This is yet another traditional cookie that is called Ciambelle, or Ciambellette. These cookies are very similar in flavor to my Mother-In-Law’s White Wine Ciambelle as both contain anise seeds which have a delicious licorice flavor. These cookies are not too sweet and I would consider them more of a breakfast cookie rather than one meant for a holiday cookie platter.

Since they freeze well, I often make a double batch and simply thaw out a few when needed. To get the best flavor from the anise seeds, I would crush them first using the back of a spoon, or lightly toast them in a frying pan just until they are fragrant. My favorite way to eat these cookies is as a mid-morning snack with a cappuccino, as they are very satisfying without being too sweet!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Anise Seed Cookie Rings

Anise Seed Cookie Rings

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 to 3 Dozen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These cookies are not too sweet and are great for breakfast along with a frothy cappuccino.


  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Anise Seeds
  • About 3 Cups All-purpose Flour (Plus Extra For Rolling)
  • Dash Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder


  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar


  1. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder into one bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, in a second bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and olive oil until light and thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon zest, extract, and anise seeds, and mix well.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the eggs just until you have a workable dough. (Do not over mix.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  7. Divide the dough into four parts, and roll each piece out into a rope about a foot long.
  8. Cut the rope into 6 to 7 pieces.
  9. Roll these smaller pieces into thin ropes about 4 inch long and pinch together the two ends to make a circle.
  10. Place the ring onto a prepared baking sheet.
  11. Continue to roll and shape the rest of the cookies, placing them evenly apart on the two baking sheets.
  12. Once the cookies have all been shaped, brush the tops with milk and then sprinkle on the sugar.
  13. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.
  14. Cool.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I made these on Saturday to bring to a family gathering. They were gone in the space of about 10 minutes. I’m making the recipe again but this time I’m going to triple it. I’ll put some in the freezer and the rest will go to my family to have with hot coffee or other hot drinks. They are delicious!

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