Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

I think these Italian biscuits are the perfect ending to this meal, being neither too heavy nor too sweet. They are densely packed with nuts and dried fruit and are easy to make.


  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 450 g/1 lb/ cups sugar
  • 225 g/8 oz/1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled almost to room temperature
  • teaspoons anise seed
  • 175 g/6 oz/ cups chopped walnuts and almonds
  • 75 g/3 oz/¾ cup sultanas/golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
  • 1 kg/ lb/9 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt


    Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and the sugar has dissolved. Beat the egg whites stiffly and fold in the remaining sugar a bit at a time. Fold the white into the yolks and then add the butter. Add the anise seed, nuts, dried fruit and vanilla. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Fold the flour into the egg mixture a quarter at a time. It will be stiff at the end and require a wooden spoon. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Roll the dough into cylinders about 20-25 cm/8-10 inches long and 4 cm/ inches in diameter. Place on lightly buttered baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cut them into pieces about 2 cm/¾ inch wide at a 45° angle. Return them to the baking sheets, cut surface down, and bake for 5-10 minutes, until crisp.