These Simple Easy Homemade Italian S Cookies are one of my favorite Italian cookies to make and eat. Let me show you how quickly they come together. I guarantee they’ll easily become a staple in your household.
If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I like simple, tasty and uncomplicated Italian cookie recipes.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE S COOKIES?
- Flour. All purpose.
- Baking Powder. Just the right amount to provide the perfect rise without any aftertaste.
- Salt. Just a pinch.
- Eggs. Just a couple.
- Sugar. Just a little bit of sweetness.
- Olive Oil. That’s right, a no butter recipe and it still tastes great!
- Vanilla Extract. If available, white.
- Lemon Zest. Make sure to use organic lemons.
We will also brush these simple biscuits with an egg wash and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar before baking them.
As far as accessories are concerned, a large mixing bowl and a whisk will ensure the dry ingredients are properly combined. You will also need a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or equivalent); a medium sized cookie scoop, and a pastry brush for the egg wash.
You can make these no butter cookies in a stand mixture, with a handheld mixer or with a whisk and a bowl -whatever is more convenient for you.
Shall we begin?
How to Make S Cookies:
In a medium sized bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside, while we start whisking the eggs.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until slightly thickened (about 3-4 minutes). Add the oil, vanilla extract, as well as the grated lemon zest and whisk to combine.
Add the dry ingredients and combine with a large mixing spoon. Mix only until combined.
How to Shape Italian S Cookies:
You are now ready to shape your cookies. Scoop out the dough with medium sized cookie scoop and drop on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Roll out each piece in a 4-5 inch strand about 1/2 inch in diameter.
Transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheet with a spatula and form into an S shape (or whatever shape you like!) by making small indentations (Make sure to watch the video in the recipe card to see exactly how I shape these traditional Italian cookies).
Once all your cookies have been formed, brush the tops with the egg yolk mixture. The sprinkle of sugar is optional. Bake in a preheated oven (350℉) for about 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. This is a very pale looking cookie. In order to give it a little color, I will switch to broil during the last minute of baking (the tops will become slightly golden in color).
Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely before storing. And there you have it, 24 perfectly shaped S cookies.
TIPS, TRICKS and RECIPE NOTES:
- A light tasting olive oil will contribute to the best overall flavor, however feel free to use a vegetable or canola oil.
- If you prefer to have a “thicker” looking cookie, make the strands shorter (4 inch) and make smaller tighter curves; if you prefer to have a thinner looking S shape, make them longer (5 inch strand).
- Recipe can easily be doubled.
- Once the dry ingredients are combined, do not over-mix.
- As a variation, cookies can be dusted with cinnamon sugar, green or red sprinkles before baking, transforming them into Italian Christmas cookies.
- If desired, once the cookies have cooled down, a very simple icing sugar glaze can be applied (in this variation, I omit the egg wash step).
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 7-10 days or frozen.
Can I use anise extract in these cookies? Yes! In fact, some families refer to them as Italian anise cookies. Simply replace the vanilla with anise extract.
Can I add sprinkles? Yes! Eliminate the egg wash step. When these Italian biscuits come out of the oven, and are at room temperature, simply spread a glaze (combine icing sugar and milk) and top with sprinkles. You now have Italian sprinkle cookies!
Origins of the Recipe for S Cookies:
I have been “hoarding” recipes for many, many decades and so I have a nice collection of recipe books. But the recipes I truly value are the ones I obtained as a result of cookie swapping activities with friends and co-workers. I was first introduced to this recipe about 30 years ago, by a colleague of mine, Anna.
Anna would shape her cookies in rings. I like to shape these cookies in a S shape. If you like, you can also shape them into mini sized twists (just like these Lemon Ricotta Cheese Cookies di Chef Luca). Or, you can just leave them as logs. This is a soft and pliable dough, that can be shaped in a variety of ways.
Anyway you shape this easy recipe (sometimes referred to as Sicilian S cookies), they taste great with a cup of coffee, tea or even a tall cool glass of milk, making it the perfect snack or Italian breakfast cookie.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this recipe for S cookies, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Italian S Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour 284 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract white
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- OPTIONAL: 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling on egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Position rack to middle.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-high speed until nice and frothy (about 3-4 minutes).
- Slowly add sugar. Continue to whisk until well combined and slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Add the oil, extract, and the zest. Combine well.
- Remove bowl from stand.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon until well combined, dough will be soft.
- Scoop dough with medium sized cookie scoop and drop on a lightly floured surface (approximately 2 tablespoon or 25 grams).
- Roll out each piece in a 4-5 inch strand about 1/2 inch in diameter.
- Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and form into an S shape.
- Brush tops of cookies with egg yolk mixture.
- OPTIONAL: sprinkle with sugar
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (this is a pale cookie).
- OPTIONAL: During last minute of baking switch to broil (the tops will become slightly golden in color).
- Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
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