Italian Wine Biscuits

By • March 19, 2010 8 Comments

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Author Notes: Italian wine biscuits are not that well known in the U.S. You won't find them in the supermarket or at the corner bakery. You may find them in traditional Italian bakeries in Italian-American neighborhoods. Where you will definitely find them is in an Italian Nonna's kitchen. If you don't have an Italian nonna, don't worry. I'm sharing my Italian nonna's recipe with you. My family doesn't use one particular type of wine, just a good dry red wine will do. (Remember, if you wouldn't drink it, don't bake with it either.) Also, the darker the wine, the deeper lavender the biscuit will be. Also use a quality olive oil for the best flavor, though it doesn't have to be extra virgin. Food Blogga

Serves about 30 biscuits

  • 1 cup good dry red wine
  • 1 cup quality olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 egg lightly beaten, for egg wash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir wine and olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl, stir sugar, flour, baking powder, and fennel seed. Stir in liquids. Stir until well blended and a dough begins to forms. Lightly work the dough with your hands until the texture is oily, smooth, and springy. If the dough is too sticky, then mix in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at a time, until smooth.
  4. Using your hands, pinch off a 2-tablespoon size piece of dough. Roll the dough between lightly floured hands. Roll into a thin cigar shape that is approximately 8 inches long. Form a U shape, then criss-cross the pieces until a braid forms. Place 15 biscuits per baking sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating pans mid-way through. Biscuits should have a golden color and be crisp on the bottom. Remove from oven and place on a cookie rack to cool completely.
  5. Biscuits should be stored in an air-tight tin container (preferably tin to maintain their crispness) and kept in a cool area, such as a cupboard. Properly stored, they should last up to one month.

More Great Recipes: Cookies|Desserts|Fennel

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Comments (8) Questions (0)


2 months ago Ruthann

sorry about the spelling below hard to type on my phone


2 months ago Ruthann

Sorry you are wrong here is the "State of Rhode Island" we are the smallest state in the USA but have many bakeshops and they wine biscuits are found every where. Also you do not use olive oil the Will said below. IN our house egg and wine biscuits are like bread. I was just look for something different to try.


almost 2 years ago Will Depp

PS...never ever use Extra Virgin olive oil, it will taste very nasty, you can use a very light tasting olive oil but in fact it comes out much better if using a non-flavor light tasting or no taste oil, we use Smart Balance at home and in the bakery they use Mazola Canola oil. Most Italians use plain old vegetable oil or shortening. Even with a more savory type of Pepper biscuits we don't use olive oil as the result is better with regular old cooking oil. Also cheaper but the main reason is taste. You can even use butter for a different taste altogether. Some folks put almonds in them or on top, I like the plain simple one the best.


almost 2 years ago Will Depp

We make these in my family bakery. We do not put fennel into the biscuits as they take away from the wine taste, we make a separate fennel anisette biscuits. For a more special biscuit, substitute a good Port wine! We also make white wine biscuits. Red is my favorite.


about 4 years ago FamilyStyle Food

These are my favorite! I don't have much of a sweet tooth (unless it's chocolate), so wine biscuits are perfect for me. It's hard to explain how good these are to people unfamiliar with Italian snacks. I stock up at our favorite family bakery whenever I visit home and then wonder why I never bake them myself, but with your recipe right in front of me now I have no excuse!


over 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

I like the idea of wine in bakes. I've made red-wine pastry for Empanadas and the resulting purple hue is lovely! I like! Very much!


over 5 years ago Food Blogga

Hi Linzarella. They're mildly sweet. Not as sweet as a cookie, but definitely sweeter than a cracker. They actually pair well with wine and cheese as much as they do with coffee. And, yes, they're fun!


over 5 years ago linzarella

This sounds like the dessert of my dreams. How sweet do they come out? I'm envisioning something that you could almost eat like a cracker, only a little more fun.