Oct 6, 2009

Ciambelline al Vino recipe

I like finishing dinner with something sweet. But sometimes dessert is too much, especially after a hearty meal. In that case, dipping dried biscuits in the leftover red wine in my glass is the best way to end the evening.

The most famous dipping biscotti are the Tuscan Cantucci, known for their jaw-breaking hardness and their toasted almond surprise. Cantucci's liquor of choice is Tuscan vin santo, an auburn sweet dessert wine made with Trebbiano or Malvasia grapes. My thing are instead ciambelline al vino. Dry, crunchy sugar biscuits made WITH wine, and made FOR wine. The recipe to prepare them is absurdly easy, and the result is obscenely tasty. Try it.
800 gr (4 cups) all purpose flour, sifted

300 g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
250 ml (1 cup) good red wine
200 ml (7 fl oz) olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pastry yeast
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven at 180° C (350° F).

In a bowl, mix the liquids and the sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the sifted flour, yeast and vanilla extract with the salt little by little, to obtain a firm and slightly wet, yet not sticky mixture. Knead into a soft, supple dough and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes, covered. Cut the dough and roll into foot-long ropes, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut each rope into 20 cm sections and shape them into rings, clasping the ends with a little pressure. You can also use a cookie-cutter to form your ciambelline (which is a diminutive of ciambelle–"life savers").

Press the ciambelline in the sugar to coat, and bake in the oven on a greased cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until golden.

Cool completely before serving after dinner, dipping them liberally in your wine glass. Sucking on the ciambelline, making noises and moaning while eating is encouraged. Kids are allowed a taste too, but only on special occasions.

Images courtesy of Forchettina.it, Gnocchettoalpomodoro.it


  1. I adore this type of ciambellina, which most people here in the states haven't even heard of. Looks like a great recipe.

  2. Never heard of them. Assomigliano ai taralli. Sono cugini?

  3. I can hear the slurping and moaning from here.
    Any sign of the salmon box or did the customs agents enjoy it with their lunches.

  4. i am all for slurping and moaning, particularly when eating. though i have never tried, sounds wonderful. i do like a biscotti with my coffee on occassion...

  5. I've never had these, but they sound and look amazing. I'm adding this to the pile of must-try-one-day-soon recipes!

  6. Yummmmm.....dipping into wine. How civilized!

  7. Yum! These look like delightful little treats. I'll have to give them a try! Grazie Lola!

  8. I have never heard of them, but they look delish!

  9. Made with wine to be dipped in wine. What more could you ask for :-)

  10. Yum, A little vino and we are good to go!! :)

  11. Is there any hope for me? I know how to wipe a counter.

    By the way, the pope really must have stolen my gift. har har

    Love Renee xoxo

  12. Hi,
    sounds great, like always. Love your recipies.

  13. As I said, I did make them last night, wonderful! Only I dipped them in my tea, but that was fine, too!

  14. Oh I love the idea of these!! I think my Hubby would absolutely adore them too....you've just given me an idea for something I could make as part of his 40th birthday meal!!

    C x

  15. Fabulous!!!!! Looks like the perfect way to finish off a meal this weekend!!! Thanks Lola! You're a gem! ~Janine XO

    my word verification? tastr! And I'm going to be just that this weekend because Lola always has tasty recipes for me to try ;-)

  16. Oh! I'm reading this about 5 minutes before lunch. Now my belly is rumbling. Quiet, belly!

  17. Ciao. Ho visto la tua blog stasera. Ci sono fotografie troppo belle. Mi piache molto. Tanti saluti di germania. Tanja

  18. Oh yes, pleeease!
    It is always such a nice treat when you think you have been virtuous by not ordering dessert and then a plate of ciambelline al vino arrives at your table with the bill.

  19. Thank you so much for all your lovely wonderful heartfelt comments!! I cannot reply to each right now, but I'd love to. Blame having to work on the weekend and limited Internet access.
    Look out for the next installment of "You're the cook today"... can you smell the sweetness?

  20. I have just tried the recipe, delicious warm from the oven. My Italian friends mother has a similar recipe with white wine equally good.

    Thanks and cheers


  21. I suppose you have Italian (maybe Puglia) roots!!!
    I Love this recipe, and love all the memories their taste gives me!!!
    Nice to meet your blog!

  22. Simon~
    Sorry I missed replying to your kind comment... years ago!

    I don't only have roots... Io sono italiana!
    Not from Puglia, but Campania, Lazio and Piemonte. A good mix ;)
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. A presto

  23. I am making a batch as I write this. They are meant to be shared with my colleagues on Monday but their lasting untill then is questionable....

  24. Anonymous~
    Especially when the sweet aroma of baked sugar and wine wafts around the house. Good luck saving any for your clients on Monday!!
    Ciao and thanks for your comment :)