Italian Style ‘S’ Cookies

5/5 - (1 vote)
In my various searches on the internet I come across a number of baked items of which I haven’t heard.  One such is ‘S’ cookies, which seem to be very popular in Italy.  It would appear that they are often flavoured with lemon zest and sometimes with anise.  I decided to give them a try, with a very basic dough and flavour it just with lemon zest.

The recipe doesn’t have many ingredients and takes very little time to make and bake. So it is well worth trying.  For mine I only made a small batch, which provided enough dough for 12 decent sized cookies/biscuits.  It would be very easy to double the recipe for a larger batch, but without needing to use two eggs for the wash, one will suffice quite easily.

I am very pleased with how mine turned out.  They baked well and taste great with a lovely light lemon flavour and a nice crunchy outside and a softer middle. I think that more zest would be fine if you like a stronger lemon flavour.  I mayI try the same biscuit base with some anise extract in to give a different flavour too.

Often with these cookies it seems that people like to put a simple sugar icing on the top, which would add extra sweetness, and that would be good but certainly isn’t necessary.

Italian Style ‘S’ cookies/biscuits
Italian Style ‘S’ Cookies/Biscuits – Video


  • 265g(2 cups + 1tbsp)plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar
  • 85g(6 tbsp) butter, softened or melted and cooled.
  • zest from one lemon.
  • 1 egg beaten, for egg wash
  • extra sugar to sprinkle on top.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C170C Fan/375 F.
  2. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper, or silicone mats.
  3. Mix the baking powder into the flour and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl place the sugar, butter, lemon zest and eggs and beat(I used my hand mixer) until all is combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix into a dough, until all the flour is combined,without over mixing.  The dough will still be sticky but workable.
  6. Take a small amount(just about 2 tablespoons) of the dough and roll into a sausage shape about 5 inches(13 cm) in length.  
  7. Gently place on the baking tray and form into a ‘S’ shape.  Press slightly to flatten a little.
  8. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving a gap of a couple of inches between each cookie.
  9. Brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle over a little sugar.
  10. Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the base of the cookies are nice golden brown colour.
  11. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. 
  12. When cooled serve and enjoy.

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