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Author Notes: These cookies came to the U.S. with immigrants from the Puglia Region of Italy where my husband's grandmother grew up. Also known as "Taralli Baresi" the cookies are a cross between an anise/fennel-flavored a pretzel, and a bagel. They are to be enjoyed with a glass of wine, coffee or by itself! —WeLike2Cook
Makes 5 dozen
- 1/2 packet dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons margarine, melted
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
- 1-2 tablespoons anise or fennel seeds
- Preheat oven to 425o F.
- Melt margarine and let cool.
- Put yeast and water in a cup and set aside to bubble.
- Cream together eggs, sugar, salt and cooled margarine. Add in remaining ingredients and mix, then add yeast mixture and mix again.
- Place on floured surface and knead well. Set aside 10-20 minutes.
- Roll into thin logs and form into pretzel shapes. Drop in boiling water.
- When they rise to the surface, drain on clean towel to cool and dry briefly (a few minutes.)
- Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.