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Italian S Cookies or Greek Cookie Recipe

These cookies are traditional to the Island of Burano in Venice. They are sold unfrosted in bags.  Some folks these dip them in sweet wine. A perfect accompaniment for coffee here in America or with espresso.  Originally these cookies were only baked on Easter Sunday now they are available in Burano all year round. Many woman in that village would make the dough and bring them to the local bakeries to be baked and packaged to be sent off with their husbands that would be gone for long periods of time fishing and out to sea. These cookies hold up and travel well. They come in various shapes not only S shaped. Basic simple biscotti in ring shaped also with a nice crunch to them. They are never sold frosted in Burano. I chose to add a glaze and sprinkle as it gave it a nice bit of sweetness. Original cookies do not have frosting. This became a favorite of ours.

Italian S Cookie Version  
Delicious Venetian Cookies
(Bussola Buranello Cookies) 

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

Beat together until light around 3 minutes.

Add to butter mixture:

2 cups flour
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla (I love lemon so I use 1  teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon extract) or of course you can skip lemon all together and use anise flavoring that's what my grandmother loved to use
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel

 Mix all together until dough just blends in a ball takes a few minutes or so using an industrial mixer so be patient. If dough won't come together add a few drops of water at a time. The moisture level comes from the eggs so if you don't use large these will be too dry.

 Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out into S shaped cookies by rolling into a long then bending into an S shape. 

Bake at 350 for 13 to 17 minutes. Leave plain or frost with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze then use sprinkles on top if you like.

Greek S Cookie Version
Very buttery cookie with spices

1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon anise or almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon extract
pinch of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

Powdered Sugar for dusting after cooled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the sugar in a large bowl with butter until light. Add all the rest of the ingredients except powdered sugar until ball forms.
Using around 2 teaspoons of dough roll into a log then form S shapes placing on cookie sheets. Bake until slightly browned edges form on the sides around 10 minutes. Cool completely then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note: these are more of a butter cookie on wedding cookie trays.
If you want the dense heavy version try this recipe click link below:

Orange Juice Italian Cookies Proceed making S shaped cookies using floured hands. Then frost.


  1. favourite type of cookies looks wonderful

  2. Which ever way , I love cookies like this. They simply disappear in your mouth

  3. My mother used to make a cookie similar to these. Thank you so much for sharing. Can't wait to make them!


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