Olive oil and Anise rings

June 28, 2010  •  Category: ,


One of the major challenges of blogging out of Lebanon is technical: Even though “high-speed” internet is available even in remote villages, the electricity gets cut off several times during the day; I have often been in the middle of pushing “publish” to hear the distinct “machine is dying” sound signaling a temporary loss of power.

These rings are fragrant with anise and very crunchy; easy to make as well and they keep for a while in a tin box. I made them with extra-virgin olive oil from our olive trees here in Deir el-Qamar, Chouf.


  • 2 cups of flour (all-purpose, wheat or a combo)
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground  anise seeds
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • several tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 egg


  1. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and anise powder into a bowl. Add the olive oil, anise seeds and  egg and mix; add some warm water, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together and is still moist.
  2. Form 6 inch sticks, as thin as a 1/2 inch or thinner. Pinch the ends to form a ring. Bake in a 350F oven for 10 to 15 minutes till golden. Cool and serve.

NOTE: This recipe is foolproof; if the dough is too wet, add more flour; too dry, add more water.


59 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) says:

    They look lovely!

    I have several recipes bookmarked for Italian wine biscuits which seem a variation on the theme.

    The photos are beautiful. I want to get into the pool right now. London is so humid.

  2. Alice Accad says:

    Maman, moi et Andrew… we’re at Zodiac, mais mon telephone ne marche pas alors je peux pas t’appeller. in any case, we’re wondering if you’re ready to leave yet? if so, we’ll pick you up. si non, ons t’attends a zodiac.

  3. Koek! says:

    Very cute! They look like little doughnuts…

  4. Rosa says:

    Lovely cookies! I’d love to jump into that gorgeous swimming pool!



  5. 12th Man says:

    Gotta love the fool-proof recipes. Although, sometimes i prove to be a bigger fool than the recipe author had in mind!

  6. Anna says:

    look so delicious! They remember me the biscuits that I eat when I go in Sicily. In that region anise is often used.
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Ciao Anna

  7. peter says:

    That is certainly a challenge…I hope you’re never stuck in an elevator! Theses are great with tea or coffee, you already know I love anise.

  8. Sue says:

    I love these cookies. I have a similar recipe. I really like that you can make them with olive oil.

  9. Ivy says:

    Love anise cookies. We make them here in Greece as well, a little bit different but still can imagine how wonderful these are.

  10. Melissa says:

    I so love your blog. It’s inspiring to me.

    I have been studying about Muhammad and the Middle Eastern Culture. Your blog brings the food alive to that part of the world.


  11. Sushma Mallya says:

    Looks crunchy and perfect tea time snack

  12. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says:

    What a delight to find this easy and yummy recipe! My husband LOVES anise cookies but it’s so much work and takes days to make them. These will be a great alternative. I’m gonna fill a cookie jar with these and surprise him. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the photos in your post.

    Question – I only have Anise Seed. How would you recommend grinding it? In a ziplock and smash it with a mallot?

  13. Suman Singh says:

    these biscuits rings looks wonderful..very nice pics..easy and delicious recipe..thanks for sharing this!

  14. Juliana says:

    Oh! These rings with anise seed look so tasty…would love to have it with a cup of tea…yummie!

  15. T.W. Barritt says:

    How wonderful! Olive oil directly from the grove! I am becoming more and more interested in baked goods made with olive oil – so aromatic, and particularly moist in cakes.

  16. shayma says:

    oh how lovely- what a beautiful place you are in. perhaps make you want to stay there forever? these are the perfect snackette with tea. x shayma

  17. SYLVIA says:

    This is a delicious, healthy,and very aromatic cookie recipe, the anise seed is like the cookie’s accessory, great for dunking, and is wonderful with a cup of tea. We always steep a large pot of anise seed, and drink it like hot tea, it is very pleasant after a meal, works as a digestive, and stops flatulence. This is the kind of homey recipe you like to share with friends. Thanks as always Joumana.

  18. Katerina says:

    They look great! If I get the sugar out perhaps they will be suitable for diet too.

  19. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says:

    I used a coffee grinder to grind up the anise seeds and it worked great. Just pulled the first batch out of the oven and they look wonderful. I’ll send you the link when I post it. Thanks again 🙂

  20. Rachana says:

    Olive Oil and anise rings look fantastic!

    The photos are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    How interesting! This reminds me of an Indian dessert I just tried; it was a thin, sweet pancake dotted with aniseeds.

  22. Faith says:

    I love anise — these sound delicious! That beautiful pool looks so pristine and inviting.

  23. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    Love the carpet motif on the bottom of the pool. Very luxurious.

  24. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Oooh, I love anise in biscotti. These look like a winner and easy to make.

  25. Nadege says:

    I love it when you mix recipes and lebanese landscape.
    It is a gorgeous country.

  26. Jojo says:

    Where in Lebanon can I find the pool with a carpet? Isn’t it funny but the power outage seems so normal. Whether water or power, having been there over the past decade or so, it’s just a part of living and everyone knows how to enjoy living anyway!

  27. sab says:

    nice rings full of flavor

  28. Tangled Noodle says:

    How wonderful that you were able to make this with olive oil from your own trees! Thank you for sharing this in spite of technical difficulties. 😎

    It’s been a long while since I last visited here, so let me say how lovely you are in your photograph!

  29. Mimi says:

    You are certainly a dedicated blogger, I think I would hang it up when technical problems persist. A tasty treat, I love the flavor of anise.

  30. meredith says:

    This looks like an easy recipe…i’ll make them tonight. My husband will love them!

  31. Cherine says:

    Love those anise rings! Beautiful photos!!

  32. Priya says:

    Cute looking rings, looks amazing..

  33. grace says:

    those internet outages would be frustrating! thanks for persevering and bringing us tasty treats like this! 🙂

  34. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    These look wonderful. I love a crunchy snack – and made with olive oil from the olive trees right outside your window! Amazing! My step-dad loves the Italian cousin of these little rings, I’ll have to try this recipe for him. Oh… and that pool! So beautiful!

  35. Joanne says:

    I can see how blogging under such circumstances would be a pain, but I’m thankful for every post you manage to get up! I really like the flavor of anise…will have to try these!

  36. mylittleexpatkitchen says:

    I absolutely *love* this type of savory “cookies”. I have tried them in other flavors as well. Spinach, carrot, poppy seed. I’ve never made them myself though, so thanks for this recipe! They look delicious.

  37. A Canadian Foodie says:

    The tile at the bottom of the pool is gorgeous and I love the church door! I admire this recipe, but am pretty sure it is one of the rare ones you post that I will not make. When I bake with anise, everything tastes like shaving gel.

  38. 3hungrytummies says:

    Love fool proof recipe like this. It must be so beautiful in the country side at the moment. It is 8 degrees C here lol

  39. Cristina says:

    I enjoy the flavor of anise. These are savory treats to enjoy with my coffee or tea. I like that you emphasize that they’re foolproof (my type of recipe!). =)

  40. Hanaa says:

    These look delicious. I love anise seeds (I use them in these Moroccan biscotti called Faqqas). There is another Moroccan cookie, shaped like a ring, that has anise seeds in it, but it’s different from yours. It’s pretty crunchy while yours seem softer (?? is that true). Btw, I’m so jealous of your olive trees! We just had a taste of the EV olive oil we brought back w/us from Morocco. It’s amazing! Just doesn’t compare w/anything I’ve found in the States (so far).

  41. Patty Price says:

    These anise rings are beautiful and as always I’m loving your photos of the country side, it looks so wonderful, I’m glad that you’re able to post and keep your blog filled with so many treasures, thanks, Patty

  42. Jean says:

    I’m catching up on all your wonderful on-location posts. So nice to be able to get a taste of Lebanese culture/food/life from here.

    These anise rings are getting bookmarked. Thanks!

  43. senga50 says:

    Trop heureuse de te retrouver, j’ai un mal fou à arriver sur ton blog… Belles douceurs pargfumées comme je les aime… à bientôt Bises

  44. radia-recettes says:

    j’aime beaucoup la recette surtout avec les graines d’anis, ça donne un odeur merveilleuse, merci chef joumana, bisou

  45. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    These are wonderful cookies. You inspire me to continue blogging, even when I’m out of town, which I will be (in Texas), soon. I find it motivating that you continue to blog, even while out of the country. You rock, Joumana!

  46. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana…I love the analogy you described…very unique.

    These cookies will be sent to my step dad who loves Anise.
    Thanks for sharing a beautiful piece of Lebanon also.
    Ciao for now, Claudia

  47. john@heneedsfood says:

    As delicious as these look, I’m still not a big fan of anise seeds. Maybe I’d need to substutue them with caraway

  48. nisha says:

    ooh my the place looks brilliant..and the pimms cocktail is my all time fav..

  49. Joanne says:

    For some reason I can’t comment on your Pimm’s post but I just wanted to say that it looks super refreshing!

  50. grazi says:

    look so delicious!

  51. OysterCulture says:

    I can only imagine how tasty these are, and if they’re fool proof they have my name on them!

  52. Joan Nova says:

    I love all things anise flavored and these rings look especially tasty!

  53. citronetvanille says:

    Desolée Joumana, j’ai raté pas mal de tes posts, j’ai du me faire hospitaliser quelques jours (rien de grave) et pas envie de me brancher sur le net, trop fatiguée mais je vois que tu as posté presque tous les jours avec des recettes plus alléchantes les unes que les autres! J’ai déjà vu des petits anneaux similaires en Italie, ta recette avec de l’huile d’olive et anis doit être vraiment goûtue! Tiens, ca fait longtemps qu’on n’a pas eu une panne d’éléctricité, parcontre l’ordi qui crashe, ca arrive assez souvent!

  54. Marie says:

    Joumama, I’ve been enjoying all your beautiful photos, it’s so interesting to see other cultures and where all your pasionate cooking comes from. I love these anise rings, we make something similar to them called tarali.

  55. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Oh I love these rings and so nice they are easy to make and foolproof. Glad this post made it live without too much trouble.

  56. Louma says:

    These kaaks were so good, I just made them last week. But, they came out flat and crispy, although I did put the required amount of Baking Powder… Could it be the Mahlab, because I didn’t use it?? They were still very yummi though.

  57. Verkin says:

    I like to open a new baking powder every six months so I have a fresh active batch.
    What is your opinion?

  58. J says:

    Just made these– absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe : )

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