Traditional Middle Eastern aniseed cookies. These cookies are sold in almost every single bakery in the Middle East, and are enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. They’re infused with delicious and fragrant aniseed and fennel, easy to make, and taste amazing.
These cookies remind me of my childhood, and until this day every time I visit Jordan, I buy them from the local bakery to have with tea.
The ingredients used to make these cookies are quite simple, and the method is also so easy. So get the ingredients, and start baking as I walk you through the process!
What’s so special about these cookies is, of course, the taste! They’re speckled with aniseed, fennel, and nigella seeds. The idea here is to grind half of the aniseed and fennel seeds, and leave the other half as a whole.
How to make aniseed cookies
In a glass bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Start with the sugars and the wet ingredients, then mix in the dry ingredients. I like to use an electric mixer to mix everything together.
When everything is mixed, slightly sticky dough will form. The dough is high in oil content, so your hands will get a bit oily when you work with the dough.
If you want very precise and equal cookies, it’s better to use a kitchen scale. But I personally just eyeball it and use my hands to make the size that I want.
Using your hands roll out a log, then shape it into a ring. Place on a greased or lined with parchment paper sheet pan, then sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds if desired.
Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, and bake at 180C (356F) for 12-16 minutes. Start checking at 12 minutes, and see if you need to cook them for longer.
If your cookies start cracking, that’s totally normal for these cookies to have small cracks. However, if harsh cracks appear, it means that your oven might be too hot.
When the oven is too hot, the outer part of the cookie will be baked while the inner dough is still baking and increasing in size. So you end up with cracked cookies.
Another idea is to chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking them. This should help with the cracking.
I recommend getting an oven thermometer that is placed in the oven to know the precise temperature.
Also note, that many ovens have different temperatures depending on where you place the tray. i.e the bottom rack might be much hotter than the middle rack.
Store biscuits in an airtight container for up to 1 month. If your container or ziploc bag is not airtight, they might become a bit moist and lose their crunch.
So get the ingredients, and start baking these fragrant and utterly delicious cookies. Then dunk them in tea and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please don’t forget to share your feedback with a rating in the comments below. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 medium egg
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) corn, sunflower, or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon aniseed seeds coarsely ground
- 2 teaspoons ground aniseed
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
- 3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds optional for topping
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F)
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease it.
- In a medium glass bowl mix all ingredients together. Start with the oil and sugar, then add the egg. Followed by the spices, and the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Divide the dough into smaller balls (depending on how small or big you want your cookies to be). Then using your hands roll out a log, then shape it into a ring. Place on a greased or lined with parchment paper sheet pan, then sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds if desired.
- Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, and bake at 180C (356F) for 12-16 minutes. Start checking at 12 minutes, and see if you need to cook them for longer.
- If the cookies crack as they bake, try chilling the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Or, check the temperature of the oven and make sure that it’s set right.
- Store biscuits in an airtight container for up to 1 month. If your container or ziploc bag is not airtight, they might become a bit moist and lose their crunch.