Anise rings (Kaak be-yansoon)

December 18, 2009  • 


This is one pastry that is probably present in every household in Lebanon on a semi-permanent basis. Crunchy, not too sweet, fragrant with anise, rather plain, it is a usually presented with a cup of coffee or tea or homemade juice to visitors that drop by unexpectedly.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 45 anise rings, about 2 inches in diameter.

  • 2  teaspoons  of  baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • pinch of mahlab (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of ground anise seeds
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil or melted butter or margarine (or a mixture of both)
  • 2 1/2   cups of all-purpose flour

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  1. Sift the flour,  salt, baking powder, milk powder, anise, mahlab (if using)   and sugar  into a large bowl.
  2. Add the melted butter and oil to the flour  mixture, mix well. The dough will be like little pebbles. Add the eggs, one at a time. If you find that the dough is still very sandy and dry, add the lemon juice. Mix well. Add the anise seeds. Gather the dough and wrap in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes or longer in a cool place.
  3. Cut small balls of the dough and shape into sausages, laying them side-by-side on a work surface to rest for about 15 minutes. Heat the oven to 350F (180C)
  4. Take each sausage and roll and stretch it thin, then cut it into 4  inch length ropes, tying the ends into a ring, trying to keep them even-sized.
  5. Place the rings on a cookie sheet lined with a parchment and bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden and the top is dry and crispy.
  6. When cool, keep the rings in a metal box for a couple of weeks, or freeze for longer periods.


NOTE: You can decrease the melted butter and oil to 2/3  of a cup and add an egg instead. The pastry will not be as crumbly.


22 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. SE(Denufood) says:

    hey..i can feel the aroma of the anise seeds…just love it..these look awesome!!!

  2. Marysol says:

    Absolutely lovely, and I’ll bet, delicious too!

    My paternal grandmother was from Lebanon, and while she was a wonderful cook, she hardly ever baked. For if she had, I would’ve always remembered these. Thank you for sharing these treats.

  3. senga50 says:

    Comme nos petits gâteaux de Noël ! le parfum anisé en plus !! Bonne fin d’année
    PS cette fois ci, j’ai eu la traduction sans problème…

  4. taina says:

    heavenly. these are my husband’s favorites. I will make them tomorrow!

  5. Ivy says:

    Beautiful cookies. I love the taste of anise.

  6. pierre says:

    coucou !
    j’adore l’anis ça fait trop vacances merci pour cette recette !! bizz de Paris où il fait tres tres froid !! Pierre

  7. babouchka says:

    Merci de ton passage chez moi qui me permet de découvrir ton blog. Ces petits biscuits me plaisent beaucoup.

  8. Sirvart says:

    Hello Joumana,
    I just tried making the dough and as you mentioned it does get sandy and dry. Unfortunately I had only 2 eggs which is why I think I was unable to shape them. I did however add 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup melted butter, do you think I should have added more oil ? Also at what point do I add the lemon juice ?
    The ( raw ) dough by the way was heavenly delicious !!! I don’t want to give up on these cookies 🙂 looking forward to hearing from you xoxo ~ Sirvart

  9. Sirvart says:

    You are truly amazing ! thank you for getting back to me 🙂
    I followed the recipe step by step, I sifted all the dry ingredients and added 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup melted butter. I added 2 eggs as mentioned in the recipe but the dough came out sandy and dry as you mentioned that might happen. I didn’t have a third egg to add so I added extra oil ( about 2 Tbls ). I am guessing perhaps a third egg would have probably made it work. After I mixed and kneaded the dough, I let it rest for about 40 min. Should I have put it in the fridge to rest ? You did mention in the ingredients the juice of 1/2 a lemon but I don’t see where and when to add it. Finally when it was time to roll and shape, the dough just crumbled and would not hold it’s shape. I am definitely not giving up on these cookies so I’m going to try again but this time I will add the third egg and use only 1 cup oil ( instead of half oil and half butter ) and perhaps some water.

    * I will absolutely try the other recipe you mentioned ! My grandmother who was originally from Lebanon used to make a similar type of cookies and it’s the best with mint tea.
    Have a wonderful weekend and thank you !

  10. Mario Grazia says:

    At first sight they seem to me “taralli”, italian ring-shaped crackers 🙂

    In Italy there are cookies very similar to these, but the italian recipe is poor, and has only flour, EVOO, sugar, white wine and 1 tbls. of anise seeds.

    If you want to compare our traditional recipe with your:

    Mario Grazia

  11. denise says:

    I need the receipe to eat it during fasting for the easter is there a recepet without milk and eggs butter

  12. maya says:

    hi there
    sorry but where does the half lemon juice go????

  13. nado says:


  14. Samia says:

    Very nice, the best recipe, you’re talented! I let them in the oven for 35 min, I love them very dry and crunchy! Not to sweet, very delicious! I recommend! I will try you fatayer sabenegh next week, very excited!

  15. Zena says:

    What can I replace the eggs with? Chia seeds and water? Or what other option?

  16. هبه says:

    اليانسون للرضع، اعتاد الناس منذ قديم الزمان على تناول مشروب اليانسون بصفة مستمرة وذلك بسبب فوائده العديدة، كما أنه يعد من المشروبات الأساسية التي اعتاد الناس تقديمها
    اليانسون للرضع

  17. Rose says:

    Your measurements are sooooo off. Did not work out at all. Never again!

  18. Joumana Accad says:

    Hello Rose,
    So sorry to hear. I will test it again using my electronic scale. What exactly went wrong? Its a straightforward recipe (or so I thought) and you can adjust it as you go. Too dry, add liquid, too wet, add more flour.

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