- 600 g (1 lb 3½ oz) plain white flour (all purpose flour)
- 250 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 250 g (8 oz) molasses
- 250 g (8 oz) almonds (unshelled)
- 100 g (3½ oz) bitter cocoa
- 80 g (3 oz) butter
- a scant 0.1 l (3½ fl oz) milk
- 0.1 l (3½ fl oz) fortified red wine
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1 pinch powdered yeast
- icing (confectioner's) and granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ginger
- 1 tbsp cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp white pepper
- Place the molasses, the ginger, and 50 g (1¾ oz) butter, in pieces, in a bowl, mix well, and add the 2 eggs, whole, and the yeast.
- Shell the almonds, crush 200 g (7 oz) in a mortar, and add to the other ingredients.
- Add the wine, the cocoa, sprinkled from a sieve, the cinnamon, the cloves, the pepper and the ginger to the molasses mixture.
- Dissolve the salt in the milk and add to the mixture, then add the amount of flour necessary to form a dough that is both consistent and soft.
- Place the dough on a pastry board and knead with the hands, return to the bowl, cover with a cloth or a plate and allow to rest for 2 days.
- Then roll out pieces of the dough, one at a time, to form sheets.
- Using a small 7 cm (3 in) diameter mould, cut rounds from the dough sheets, making a small hole in the centre of each round with an upside down glass, smaller than the original mould, thus forming small rings.
- Crush the remaining almonds in a mortar and add a little icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) and the egg white.
- Brush this mixture on the "ciambelline" and sprinkle with the granulated sugar, crushed.
- Use the remaining butter to grease a baking tray (cookie sheet) and bake in the oven at 180°C / 350°F / gas 4 for 15 minutes.
- With the help of a spatula, remove from the baking tray and arrange on one or more pastry racks.
- The biscuits (cookies) keep for a long time in metal containers.