Ciambellette are a classic Italian cookie that have been a staple in our home since I can remember. I can recall, when I was in high school and mom was working, we would get home at about the same time each day and she would make us each a cup of coffee and we would grab one of these cookies to enjoy as a “pick me up” after a long day. Mom mastered this recipe as it has always been dad’s favourite. Both Nonna Caterina and Nonno Giovanni recall eating these simple yet delicious treats when they were little. This recipe is easily over 90 years old! I know that all of the “Ciociare”, people from a central area of Italy, are familiar with this version of the recipe but several others exist and vary slightly depending on the region of Italy they originate from.
These are the perfect cookies to dunk into a cup of coffee any time of the day! In fact, we always take some with us when we travel. You never know when you will need a snack!
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons sambuca
- 3 large eggs beaten (with a fork)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup white wine
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups flour
- 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Coarse white sprinkling sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Butter and flour baking sheets.
- In a bowl mix together oil, sugar, sambuca and whisk until well blended.
- Add in the 3 beaten eggs and vanilla and continue to whisk.
- Whisk in white wine then blend in lemon zest.
- To start, add 2 cups of flour to the liquid mixture above and blend with a spatula. Then add the other 2 cups of flour and blend until uniformly mixed.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work suface and lightly knead it for about 30 seconds then form into a ball.
- Using a timbit size of dough at a time, roll into a 6” log then shape into a circle. Overlap the ends by about ½” and pinch together just enough to seal. Keep all the circles on a floured surface before baking.
- Beat the remaining egg well and lightly brush it on the tops of the circles. Sprinkle each one with coarse sugar.
- Place the circles onto prepared pans allowing room to expand as they bake.
- Bake until golden brown.
- Adjust the size of the ciambellette to your liking.
- Leave about 1″ space between each of the cookies while baking. They approximately double in size once baked.