Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas ¼). Put the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it becomes a pale syrup. Remove from the heat. Carefully stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, the nuts, citrus peel, the anise and the cinnamon. Mix with a solid spatula or wooden spoon, to make a sticky, consistent dough.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Dollop heaped tablespoons of dough about 6 cm (2½ in) in diameter onto the tray, placing them apart from each other, with the help of another tablespoon. They will look like small heaps of wet sand. Bake for about 45 minutes or until they are very lightly golden, slightly firm and a little puffed up.
These biscuits will keep for about a week stored in an airtight container. If they become very dry and hard after a few days, put them back into a hot oven for a few minutes to soften them before eating.