Sweet Italian Taralli

These crunchy, not-too-sweet cookies are made with white wine and a splash of anise-flavoured liqueur. They may seem quite simple and homely, but they’re actually highly addictive — it’s impossible to eat just one! I’ve attempted to make these taralli many times over the years, with limited success. After trying countless versions of this recipe that I either found online or received from various Italian nonnas and zias, I finally cobbled together a recipe that turns out perfectly every time. These are delicious dipped in coffee!


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 cup for rolling)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup anise-flavoured liqueur, such as Sambuca or Anisette
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Put the flour, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the dry ingredients together on low speed until combined.
  2. Next, add in all the wet ingredients. Beat on medium speed until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough starts to come together.
  3. Continue beating until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This should take about two minutes. The finished dough should be soft, slightly shiny and not too sticky.
  4. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F and coat baking sheets with non stick spray or line with silicone baking mats.
  6. Pour about one cup of sugar into a bowl. This will be used to dip and coat the cookies in sugar.
  7. Pinch off small pieces of the chilled dough and roll into ropes about six inches long and a half inch thick. Press the ends of the rope together to form a circle.
  8. Coat taralli in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until just slightly golden.
  10. Cool taralli on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Yield: approximately 30 cookies


2 Comments Add yours

  1. MissR says:

    Great recipe! I am a big fan of Italian cookies. Is the liqueur absolutely essential to this recipe? hard to get this where I am. Shortages and prices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi… no not necessary. You can just add 1/4 cup extra of white wine. The anise liqueur just adds flavour but the cookies are delicious without it, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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