These Italian anise-studded wine cookies are my favourite way to use up any leftover wine. As simple as these cookies are and as short as the ingredient list is, here are a few variations: some people prefer using sparkling wine to white wine, others will use red wine which will result in darker cookies. Opinions are divided over whether a neutral vegetable oil is better or olive oil should be used. I stick with the advice I got in Italy and use vegetable oil for its neutral flavour. Also, the anise seeds are optional but I love the cookies with them. That being said, some people prefer to use fennel seeds in place of the anise seeds. —Sophia R
Start by whisking together the wine, oil and sugar. Add the anise seeds and pinch of salt and start incorporating the flour bit by bit until you have a smooth, firm and elastic dough (you may find you need slightly less than the 550g flour or slightly more). Cover and set aside for 1/2 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Take generous tablespoon-sized lumps of dough and make little doughnut-shaped cookies (to do this I start by rolling the dough into 8-10 cm long sausages, then loop these to form small circles, pinching the ends of the loop together). Dip each cookie into the anise sugar and place on the baking tray, leaving ca. 2cm space between cookies.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
Hi, my name is Sophia and I have a passion (ok, maybe it is veering towards an obsession) for food and all things food-related: I read cookbooks for entertainment and sightseeing for me invariably includes walking up and down foreign supermarket aisles. I love to cook and bake but definitely play around more with sweet ingredients.
Current obsessions include all things fennel (I hope there is no cure), substituting butter in recipes with browned butter, baking with olive oil, toasted rice ice cream, seeing whether there is anything that could be ruined by adding a few flakes of sea salt and, most recently, trying to bridge the gap between German, English and Italian Christmas baking – would it be wrong to make a minced meat filled Crostata?