Semolina biscottis (Kirshalli)

November 17, 2011  •  Category: ,



Are you the type who likes a dry and crumbly cookie that you can dunk in your coffee or hot cocoa?

Then these would be right up your alley. They are extremely crumbly and very fragrant with anise, orange blossom, raisins and nuts.

A recipe from the late Arto Der Haroutunian‘s Pâtisserie of the Eastern Mediterranean (adapted)


  • 2 cups of fine semolina flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • Flavoring: 1 tbsp of anise seeds, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1 tsp of orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 1/3 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts or other)


  1. Place the semolina flour in the bowl of a food processor or mixer with the baking powder; combine the two for a few seconds. Add the olive oil in a thin stream with the machine running until the semolina is wet and resembling breadcrumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, vanilla and anise seeds (and orange blossom if using). Add to the semolina mixture through the feed tube and process until the mixture is pasty and hold together, a few seconds more. Add the raisins and nuts and pulse to combine or mix by hand with a spoon.
  3. Transfer the dough to a 12X9 inch pan (or any square or rectangular pan) lined with baking or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F. Smooth the dough with wet fingers or using a spatula or plastic wrap and brush with a beaten egg yolk. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes then bake for 30 minutes until puffed up and dry.
  4. Reduce the oven to 250F and cut the dough into sticks; bake again until the sticks are dry and crisped up.

NOTE: These cookies can be made with all-purpose flour; the amount of flour may need to be increased by 1/2 cup however. The dough should be sticky but firm.

NOTE: These cookies can be made just plain, without any raisins or nuts (as in the top photo).


16 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. domi says:

    Voilà une nouveauté que ces biscuits avec la semoule, à essayer pour savoir…

  2. Alaiyo Kiasi says:

    Your recipes are making me realize there is a world of food out there that I am missing. Can the recipe be really that easy for such an elegant-looking treat? Thanks for sharing this recipe and the gorgeous pictures.


  3. Peter says:

    Nice loooooong biscotti-looking cookies…must try semolina in my biscotti.

  4. Phil in the Kitchen says:

    I adore dry and crumbly cookies for dunking and these sound just right. Thanks for this, I’ve got to try them.

  5. Jeannie says:

    I was thinking what to make with my packet of semolina…could try this recipe during the weekend…looks good! Thanks for sharing:)

  6. Priya says:

    Wow they looks excellent.

  7. Mercotte says:

    Ils ressemblent un peu au canestrelli italiens ou aux biscuits corses, j’aime bien l’idée de la semoule !

  8. Magic of Spice says:

    Such lovely flavors…love crumbly cookies 🙂

  9. Susan says:

    Count me in! I love a dunking cookie and especially one that has nuts.

  10. Sue says:

    The minute I saw these I had to bookmark the recipe. The flavoring sound wonderful, and the cookie dunked in the hot chocolate looks so tempting!

  11. Nuts about food says:

    I have a pack of semolina in my cupboard. I bought it by mistake, and unlike you, am not a fantastic fresh pasta maker. So this could be a perfect solution.

  12. Asmita says:

    These would be perfect with hot “Chai”.

  13. Caffettiera says:

    I recently made my first biscotti and was surprised on how easy they were and how satisfying, despite the simple ingredients. I am definitely a dunker so I’ll have to try these.

  14. Kathy says:

    Oh Joumana, These looks so delicious! I love any thing made with semolina. It’s the crunchy, nuttiness that semolina adds to baked goods that I love. I will be adding these to my baking list. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. weirdcombos says:


    My mother used to make cookies similar to these. I enjoyed dipping them into my mug of café au lait the then eat them just before they dissolved in the drink just the way you show in the first pic at the top.


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