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Cookies without Nuts
ciambellette di pasqua
Ciambellette di Pasqua (with lemon zest and vanilla)
Originated from: Ripi, Frosinone, Lazio
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Pierina Faustini

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Ciambellette/Cambellete di Pasqua*

5 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 espresso-sized teaspoons Magic baking powder*
2 espresso-sized teaspoons ammoniac (used in baking)*

For egg wash
1 egg yolk, beaten

For decoration (optional)
1 "small-sized" egg for each ciambellette

Equipment needed
Cookie sheets
Parchment paper

*An espresso-sized teaspoon is about half the size of a regular teaspoon

*Spellings vary


o Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.

o Beat eggs (use a whisk).

o Add sugar and beat well (use a whisk).

o Add the milk, oil and vanilla to the egg mixture. Mix well with a whisk. Add 1/2 of the flour (2 1/2 cups). Mix well.

o Add the rest of the flour, the Magic baking powder and the ammonia. The mixture will be too thick to use a whisk at this point, one will have to use one's hands or a wooden ladle.

o Once all the ingredients are mixed, place the bowl with the mixture in the fridge. Let it rest for about 1/2 an hour.

o Line two cookie sheets (or more) with parchment paper.

o Remove the mixture from the fridge and for each ciambellette make a small meatball-like dough ball -- about an inch and half in circumference (One can rub the palm of one's hands with a touch of oil if the dough is too sticky).

o Place the meatball-like dough ball on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using your finger make a hole in the dough.

o Fill up one cookie sheet with the dough balls.

o Brush the top of each ciambellette with egg yolk.

o (Optional) Add a half-boiled egg in the center of the ciambellete.

o Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack (It's best to cook one batch of cookies at one time, and keep the remainder in the fridge, so that the heat is more even).

o Bake in 325 F degree oven for about 15 minutes (The texture of the cookies should be relatively soft -- similar to tarallucci).


The ciambellette di Pasqua shown in this entry were made by Pierina Faustini. The lady who took their picture and had the pleasure of feasting on them found them an absolute delight (If one is looking to lose weight, best avoid making these Easter treats as they will successfully foil your attempts at self-deprivation). These cookies are very similar in taste and texture to Southern Italy's now world-famous tarallucci, but they are a bit easier to make as they don't require any twirling of teeny-weeny taralli-style logs. One simply punches a hole in the center of a dough ball, and gets the desired look.... Photo and notes: Mary Melfi.

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