Italian Love Knots

Also known as unicetti, anginetti or taralli dolce to the many devotees of Strip District institution Enrico’s Biscotti Company, these cookies are featured in a new cookbook, My Black Book, authored by its founder. Larry Laguttata, also known as the Biscotti Baron, shares not only pasticceria know-how in his gorgeous little tome: there’s also a warm sense of nostalgia about turn-of-the-last- century Italian life in our fair ‘Burgh. The book is a perfect holiday gift.

To purchase the book,



3/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

3 eggs

4 cups flour

2 tbsp baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1/2 cup hot water

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp anise extract


Colored sprinkles


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Heat the butter until completely melted.

  2. Cream together the melted butter and sugar.

  3. Add vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt.

  4. Mix at low speed for about 30 seconds, then add HOT water and combine well. The dough will be tacky.

  5. On an un-floured board, take a piece of dough weighing about 1 ounce and roll the dough into a log about 2 inches long. Taking the ends of the log, bring one end over the other, then underneath and through the middle, like tying a knot.

  6. Place on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let them cool completely.

  7. In a bowl, place the powdered sugar and anise extract. With a whisk, drizzle in milk a little at a time until you have an icing consistency that suits you. The amount of milk you use will determine the thickness: some like a thick icing, some a simple glaze. Your kitchen, your rules.

  8. Dip the top of the cookie into the glaze and sprinkle the top with colored sprinkles.

    Makes 48 cookies

Recipe by Larry Laguttata / Styling by Anna Calabrese / Photography by Dave Bryce

Recipe excerpted with permission from Larry Laguttata’s cookbook, My Black Book: Enrico Biscotti Company, available at

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