Italian orange biscuits


Firstly, let me apologise for the grainy (appropriate, as it turns out) photos in this post.  All the photos have been taken with my phone.  I left my camera in Perth.  My tripod is here but no bloody camera.  I can’t believe I did it, especially as I planned to do an “In My Kitchen” post.  “Oh well, shit happens,” as they say.

As I have mentioned several times before, I have a semolina problem.  Months ago, I bought two packets of coarse semolina thinking it was fine and then lots of packets of fine semolina, merely because I was excited to find it.  Unfortunately, I did not have at that time, nor had I since, a use for any of it.  Then, as fate would have it, the other day, a friend gave me another packet.  Our friends had sold their property in Bridgetown so they were clearing out their pantry.  On a visit, they handed me a big bag which included flours of various sorts and a packet of semolina.  That packet of semolina brought my semolina problem from the back burner into my consciousness.

When I spotted a recipe for Italian orange biscuits in Simply Italian, by Sophie Braimbridge, which required semolina and were particularly simple to make, I decided to give them a go.  I had no great expectation they would be anything more than a plain grainy biscuit but I don’t mind a plain biscuit and if they were a bit boring, it would be good because I wouldn’t eat too many.  Maus had recently made Bizzy Lizzy’s Old fashioned creamy lattice slice with passionfruit and I was having sleepless nights over the calories I had consumed.


Well, I made the biscuits and they were better than I anticipated. They were both plain and grainy but they had a nice citrus zing which I found quite pleasant.  Here is a photo of my first effort and here is the recipe.


  • 175g plain flour
  • 200g semolina
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2½ tsp grated orange zest (I used the zest of two oranges which was about 3 teaspoons and I don’t think it was too much)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt


  1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth.  I had to add a bit of milk to form a dough.
  2. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  5. Make balls about the size of small walnuts and place on the baking tray.  Press down with your finger to flatten slighty.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edge of the biscuit is dark golden brown.

IMG_0275copyAs I mentioned above, my dough was too dry to form a ball so I added some milk.  Despite this, and even though the recipe said to leave space between the biscuits as they will expand during cooking, mine stayed in the little ball shape that I put them onto the tray.  The biscuits were not particularly sweet, hard little balls – but that nice citrus zing got me thinking.

I thought they would taste better with glacéd orange peel instead of the zest and some essence to boost the citrus zing.   I used Bakery Bits Fiori di Sicilia (see the photo).  This is a particularly nice citrus oil blend but use whatever you can get.  I also decided to give them a sweet crunch with a sprinkling of demerara sugar.

They tasted better.  Yummy in fact.  They are still plain little grainy biscuits but now they have a real citrus zing.  If you have too much semolina in your pantry or some nearing its use by date, either version of these little biscuits is a worthwhile use for it.


  • 175g plain flour
  • 200g semolina
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 35g glacéd orange peel chopped very finely*
  • ½ tsp citrus essence
  • 2 very large eggs
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling

*Chop the orange peel as small as your personality allows.  I really needed Maus for this job but she was in the shed making me a sign for my soap stall so I couldn’t disturb her.


  1. Put the orange peel and flour into a food processor and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.  By using very large eggs, I had enough moisture to form a smooth ball.
  3. Chill your dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  6. Roll your dough until it is about five mils deep.  Cut small rounds with a biscuit cutter.  Place on the prepared baking tray.  Reform dough and cut more rounds.
  7. Sprinkle each biscuit with sugar.  I used demerara but I am sure ordinary sugar would do.
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the edge of the biscuit is dark golden brown.

9 thoughts on “Italian orange biscuits

  1. Your semolina tsunami made me smile and I thought that probably the only thing you hadn’t done was to make soap with it! But then, not as silly as it sounds perhaps, exfoliating soaps have nasty beads in them – semolina? 🙂

    • Hi Jan, Maree has just suggested I make sand soap and now you are recommending semolina soap, what next? I did make soap with coffee granules in it but it was a bit rough on my delicate skin.

  2. As much pasta as I make, Glenda, 4 bags would be sitting around here for some time. Orange flavored biscuits sounds like a very good use for it, though. I’m sure I’d love them.

  3. I love semolina but can imagine that 4 bags is too much for anyone. Coincidentally, I made a huge semolina cake for the party, baked in a paella pan. I have semolina left over so might give these a go. I also use semolina for a crunchy sprinkle on the base of my sourdough loaves.

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