Nana's Pepper Cookies "tarralli"

READY IN: 2hrs 40mins
YIELD: 4-5 Dozen




  • In a small pan, heat the oil until just warm to the touch (maybe 70-80°F), and set aside.
  • In a small pan, heat wine until very warm to the touch (about 100°F).
  • Sprinkle yeast over the warm wine and let sit for several minutes until it softens; then stir to mix.
  • In a large bowl, add all the other ingredients, including the warm oil.
  • Add the wine/yeast mixture to the bowl.
  • Use your hands to mix everything well, until a dough is formed.
  • Turn dough out onto an unfloured board; knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
  • Place dough in a clean, dry bowl.
  • Cover the dough with a clean, damp, kitchen towel (not terry cloth), and let rise for about 30 to 60 minutes in a warm place.
  • Cut the dough into small pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long, thin, rope (about the thickness of your little finger).
  • Cut the rolled ropes of dough into 4-inch long pieces and join the two ends of each piece together so that it forms a round, doughnut like shape.
  • Continue the rolling and shaping with all the remaining dough.
  • Heat oven to 350-375°F Fill a pot with water, and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Drop the shaped dough into the boiling water (a few at a time).
  • When the taralli come to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, and place them on a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) to dry.
  • When all the taralli have been boiled and dried, place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a rack.
  • When cool, serve with a glass of wine for dunking.