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You need ‘spirit’ in your life… wine and olive oil cookies

The Italian word spirito (spirit) has many meanings. Whatever meaning of spirito you’re considering, you definitely need spirito to face your life. Why? Let’s have a look!

In your life you need (spirit) power of observation, because the opportunities, such as trains, often stop where you are only once, so you must be well prepared to grab them, even if you have to run after them, losing on the road the heels, the scarf and even your hat (do you remember that old black-and-white films with those beautiful steam trains on which you can jump onto at the very last moment? Well, forget them, have you ever tried to hop onto a high-speed train?).

Wine and olive oil cookies  

In your life you need enterprise spirit, that is, you need to be enterprising, said the girl who – to ask a guy out – loses herself in the international waters of words (yes, I admit, I believe in gender equality but if only you could go back to the ’60s, when a girl was supposed to be sitting with a skirt balloon, a string of pearls, a pastel twin sets and ribbon shoes and a guy was supposed to ask her to dance… oh! everything would be much easier).In your life you need spirit of adaptability. The second time I went to London I found myself in a hostel with a tiny bathroom. It was so tiny that, when you wanted to brush your teeth, you could spit the water on your feet or beat your head in the mirror. Well, it’s okay! I enjoyed London with a bump in my head for the entire weekend, bu my breath smelled of mint! London is well worth a bump.

In your life you need team spirit. This can be testified by my colleagues when the three of us moved one of our cars that had stopped at 100 meters from the office. Once understood that the hand brake had to be released, it was much easier and with synchronous pushes and labor room encouragements,we were able to bring the car in the parking lot. Girl power!

In your life you spirito – wit – to not take yourself too seriously, to laugh of yourself!

Wine and olive oil cookies

Wine and olive oil cookies

… and if you need wit and spirit in your life, you definitely need my Aunt Teresa’s wine and olive oil cookies! They are the easiest cookies I have ever done, fun to mix and shape. The recipe calls just for very few ingredients that you can always easily find at home, you can customize them as you prefer, adding spices and nuts, and, moreover, they are light and suitable for those who are lactose intolerant, not to mention that they are really fun for children.

They can be considered an old-fashioned afternoon break, like the traditional and ever green sugar, wine & bread. Or you can munch on them after dinner, cuddled up on your favourite armchair reading a book that takes your breath away. They can be stored in a tin box for several days. With these ingredients you will get a hundred little doughnut cookies, ideal to slip one per finger on each hand (yes, you counted correctly, 10 doughnut cookies! but come on, they should last for a while otherwise you’ll run out of nibbles just at the climax of the book!).

Wine and olive oil cookies
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5 from 3 votes

Wine and olive oil cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Serves 80 -100 cookies
Author Giulia


  • 1 glass of caster sugar + extra sugar to sprinkle cookies
  • 1 glass of extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1 glass of white wine**
  • About 6 glasses of all purpose flour
  • 15 g of baking powder
  • Grated lemon zest


  • Pour the sugar, the olive oil and the wine in a large bowl and whisk. Add in the grated lemon peel and begin to mix in the flour with a wooden spoon.
  • After the first glass of flour, sift in the baking powder, then keep on adding flour until the dough becomes plastic and silky, as to let you roll it into small ropes (I used about 6 glasses of flour).
  • Let it rest 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the dough into small ropes. Coil the ropes into round doughnut shapes, leaving a small hole in the middle. Sprinkle the cookies with caster sugar and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes and remove from the oven as soon as they get a slight golden colour on the top. Let them cool and store them in a tin box.


* The extra virgin olive oil: I used a sweet, fruity, delicate and light extra virgin olive oil, produced on the Tuscan hills overlooking the sea. It is perfect to use with fish and sweet pastry.
** The wine: Chardonnay Maschio, a sparkling wine with a scent of musk and almond blossoms and a fresh and gentle aftertaste of golden apple (wine description taken from the back label, as you know I''m not and expert of wine!)
Tried this recipe?We love to see your creations! Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable!

Alternative flavour mix: you can use red wine instead of white one, or a sweet wine, vinsanto or passito. You can add other flavorings such as anise seeds, orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla or ginger. You may enrich them with dark chocolate chips, raisins soaked in rum, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts. The possibilities are endless. The mix I chose (a sparkling and flower scented white wine + lemon peel) has proved to be particularly delicate and gentle. The two flavors enhance each other in a fresh and spring harmony.

Wine and olive oil cookies

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This Post Has 30 Comments
  1. Molto carino! They seem a bit like shortbread but … healthier, with the olive oil and glass of wine. I will definitely be trying these soon!

  2. Firstly I adore the picture – the dull light of the countryside in Autumn (well that’s what it feels like to me). I like repetitive tasks in the kitchen to relieve stress – I think you could call rolling out over 100 individual doughnuts repetitive! And lastly, I’ve never cooked with dough that has wine in it. I have bookmarked this ‘to do’. Lovely.

  3. @ Emiko: grazie! I’ve seen you live in Florence and I’ve fallen in love with your photo portfolio! I’d love to meet you, sooner or later, I think I have a lot to learn form you! Have a wonderful weekend!
    @ Sally: it was winter, but it was a sunny afternoon, so it seemed like autumn even in the real world! I love the interpretation you gave to this repetitive task, we can call this doughnut therapy! Thank you! 🙂
    @ Lindsey: it’s very simple, different glass sizes, different amount of cookies, but same proportion!
    @ Medeja: it’s a relevant feature in these cookies, you can still sense and taste it!
    @ Asha: the INNER SPIRIT! here again the spirit! 🙂 good point! x

  4. @ Barbara: thank you for stopping by. Please try them and tell me what you think of them!
    @ Janice: All inclusive, eh eh!
    @ Scarletta: thank you for appreciating them!
    @ Kori: It is fun! A long work (I mean, coiling 100 doughnut cookies) but fun!

  5. I just posted about red wine biscuits on my blog a week or so ago. One of my favorite, go-to sweet treats, using red or white wine — simple and not-too-sweet, just how I like it! Our recipes look quite similar, though I love your idea of adding lemon zest. Might have to try that out. Your photos are far nicer than mine. Just lovely.



  6. Your donuts sounds really wonderful. This is my first visit to your blog and I just finished browsing through some of your earlier entries. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I’ll be back often. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  7. Three things I love… wine, doughnuts, and cookies! How fitting to put them all together! And I love your story about all of the different meanings of spirito!!!

  8. Did you say 100-120 cookies?! That’s a cookie factory not a kitchen! I’ve never tried these, they’re really intriguing and I love your story about pushing the car through the car park.

  9. @ Mary: thank you for stopping by! Blessing to you too!
    @ Tiffany: three magic elements into the same very tiny cookie, isn’t it perfect?
    @ Flour child: thank you so much
    @ Sarah: it does resemble a factory, but it’s quite automatic, so you can have a chat over a cup of tea while coiling the doughnuts!

  10. This reminds me so much of the recipe for anise-studded taralli my Italian boyfriend’s aunt once gave me. I love the idea of trying a lemon flavoured version and I am glad I am not alone in having to deal with recipes that require as muhch flour as necessary!

  11. Hello Giulia
    Saluti dalla California. Very nice recipe. However I don’t use wine at all so what can I substitute in its place? I appreciate you may not have tried it with the substitute but would like your advise.

    Grazie mille

    1. Hello Kiran! I actually never used something different, but I bet you could use orange juice!

  12. 5 stars
    So yummy! I saw several versions of this cookie, but this recipe reads like a family recipe gma would left tucked in her books, so it won out. It’s something like a gourmet animal cracker. I never even dusted them with the sugar! I can’t stop shoveling them in my face.

  13. I love the way this recipe is written and can’t wait to try it. But will you tell me what size of glass to use? I’m guessing that it’s okay to improvise, just long as you don’t keep switching the size of the glass for the different ingredients!

    Thank you —


    1. you’re right Susan! the standard glass is about 200 ml, slightly less than a cup, so you can use a cup!

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