Sambuca Kisses

Sambuca Kisses

[Photograph: Petrina Tinslay ]

"Baci" is Italian for "kiss". And these kisses are as light as air. Flavored with anise liqueur, these fried delights should flutter into your mouth as fast as you can turn them out. Nigellissima has the recipe.

Reprinted with permission by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

  • Yield:makes 18-20 kisses
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:35 minutes


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sambuca liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Flavorless vegetable or corn oil, for frying
  • 1–2 teaspoons confectioners ’ sugar , to serve


  1. 1.

    Put the egg and ricotta into a bowl and beat together until smooth.

  2. 2.

    Add the flour, baking powder, sambuca, sugar, and grated orange zest. Beat the mixture again to make a smooth batter.

  3. 3.

    Pour about 1 inch of oil into a frying pan, and heat until a small piece of bread sizzles when you drop it into the pan and browns in about 40 seconds (the temperature should be at about 350°F). And keep your eye on the pan at all times.

  4. 4.

    Oil a teaspoon measure and gently drop rounded teaspoons of the ricotta batter into the pan; about 4 at a time is manageable. The little kisses will puff up slightly and turn golden underneath, so flip them over carefully with an implement of your choice, to color the other side. Watch out that the oil doesn’t get too hot: turn the heat down if they are browning too quickly.

  5. 5.

    Once they are golden all over, lift them out with a perforated spoon and place them on a plate lined with 1 or 2 sheets of paper towel, to get rid of any excess oil. Carry on cooking until all the mixture is used up, then turn off the heat under the oil. Once the kisses have cooled a bit, push the confectioners’ sugar through a small strainer to dust them thickly.

  6. 6.

    If you are not eating them straightaway, pop the pre-sugared, cooked kisses on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a 300°F oven, and keep them warm for up to 1 hour. If so inclined, serve with a shot of sambuca or an espresso.