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  Boiled Cookies

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Category: Desserts
Servings: 8 - 12
Total time: 9 hrs 45 min
Level: Intermediate
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

- 1 1/2 cups pastry flour

- 2/3 cup sugar

- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 5 large eggs

- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (optional)


1.  Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and heat over medium-high heat bringing the water to a gentle boil. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the cookie dough.

2.  In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and olive oil until very well combined.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine both of the flours and the fennel seeds if you are using them.




4. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing the ingredients well each time to ensure they are fully incorporated.

5.  Once the ingredients are combined thoroughly into a workable dough, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it until it is about the consistency of Play-Doh.

6.  Divide the dough into quarters and proceed to shape them into your desired shapes. Commonly, the cookies are shaped into rings roughly 2 - 3 inches wide. To do this, take one quarter of the dough and roll it out into a rope about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the rope into pieces roughly 5 to 6 inches long. Then take each piece and join its ends together to form a ring. Press the ends together firmly to close the cookie. Place each finished ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7.  Continue step 6 until you have formed all of the dough into the cookie shapes.

8.  When the water is almost to a rolling boil, lower the heat to medium. Gently place 3 - 4 of the shaped cookies into the boiling water. When the cookies float to the top of the water, they are ready to be removed from the water. Remove them with a strainer and place them on a baking sheet lined with a lint free towel. Continue this process until all of the cookies are boiled.

9.  When all of the cookies are finished boiling, slightly raise one side of the baking sheet they are sitting on using a folded towel or pot holder so that any excess water will drain from the cookies. Then cover the cookies with a damp cloth and set them aside for 8 - 10 hours.

10.  When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position the racks to the middle of the oven.

11.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

12.  Take one of the cookies and, using a sharp knife, carefully slice it all around (like you were splitting a bagel), almost to the center of the cookie but not quite. This will give the cookie its unique shape as it bakes. Continue cutting the cookies until they are all sliced in this manner.

13.  Place the baking sheet(s) of prepared cookies into the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cookies are a deep golden brown. If using 2 trays in the oven at once, rotate them half way through the cooking time so that the cookies bake evenly.

14.  When the cookies are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes prior to serving.


If you don't want to shape or cut the cookies, you can cut the ropes of dough into 1 inch pieces. They do not have to be sliced prior to baking and will puff into balls in the oven.

These cookies can be glazed with a mixture of 2 cups powdered sugar whisked with 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice. You could also dust them with powdered sugar just before serving.