These ring-shaped biscuits are flavoured with vanilla, lemon and aniseed to create a crunchy and punchy Italian treat.
- 125 g unsalted butter, softened
- 150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp ground aniseed
- 250 g (1⅔ cup) ‘00’ pasta flour (see Note)
- 10 g (1 sachet) vanilla sugar (see Note)
- 1 lemon, zested
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 35 minutes
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes or until thick and pale. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add ground aniseed, beating until combined. Add flour, vanilla sugar, zest and a pinch of salt, and mix to form a dough. Shape dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds. Working with one piece at a time, divide each third into 10 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece of dough into a 12 cm rope. Coil rope into a circle, lightly pressing the ends together, and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough to make 30 biscuits. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Stand on trays for 2 minutes to cool, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
• ‘00’ pasta flour or doppio-zero flour, from supermarkets and delis, is a super-fine Italian flour. Substitute with plain flour.
• Vanilla sugar is from select delis and specialty food shops. Substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Amira Georgy. Styling Berni Smithies.
As seen in Feast magazine, August 2014, Issue 34.