Italian S Cookies or Greek Butter Cookies

Friday, December 20, 2019
Italian S Cookies or Greek Butter Cookies are a delicious butter cookie that's not too sweet and a well-known cookie all over Venice Italy.

This is a very old recipe and simply perfect for serving with any hot beverage.

Many times you will see these S-Shaped Cookies in small bakery shops along the waters when they serve these with espresso.

Here you will find two versions one from Burano and the other is Greek style with powdered sugar and buttery flavored with a tender crunch.

These are both delicious and hard to choose, try them both and let me know which one you love!

Scroll down and print off the recipes at the end.

Cookies made in Venice Italy called S cookies and they are glazed with colored sprinkles on top

A Little History

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.

The Greek cookies are have a little clove and spice in them buttery and crunchy rolled into powdered sugar.

a collage of Italian cookies with dough and baked styles

Easy Versatile Dough

The dough is very easy to work with.

The S is the is simply rolled into a rope then shaped into an S shape. These cookies traditional have either anisette in them or lemon.

Depending on the Region in Italy making them.

Most Italian households make these around Christmas time now as a tradition cookie on the tray.

Being Italian American we surely always have these on our tray around the Holidays but not just for Christmas for Easter as well.

Many women 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.

a ball of cookie dough

Glazed or Plain?

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. They are not sweet cookies, a light frosting will compliment them. This became a favorite of ours.

Italian dough for cookies in the shape of an S

Ingredients You Will Need to Make Italian S Cookies

scroll down to the printable recipe card for exact measurements

  • sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • egg yolks
  • flour
  • vanilla or lemon
  • freshly grated lemon peel

Cookies made in Venice Italy called S cookies and they are glazed with colored sprinkles on top

Shaping and Baking

After you shape the cookies, place them on parchment paper so they evenly brown on the bottom.

Plus they are easier to remove without them breaking.

raw cookie dough on a cookie sheet

Butter Greek Cookies

These are a butter Greek version with powdered sugar. They melt in your mouth and traditional Greek cookies made around the holiday. We love these also. Both recipes are below for you to try.

I would love to hear which one you like the best. Feel free to leave a message. Thanks for reading.

these are a greek S shaped butter cookie

Pin for later

pin for later Italian cookies

More Cookie Recipes We Love

Almond joy biscotti
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie
Oreo Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
Blueberry Drop Cookies
Almond and Coconut  Chip Cookies

Italian S Cookies or Greek Butter Cookies

Italian S Cookies or Greek Butter Cookies

Yield: 25
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 6 Mtotal time: 21 M
These are Italian S-shaped cookies. We make these all year round they are delicious cookies. I have two recipe versions for you to try here.


  • Delicious Venetian Cookies
  • (Bussola Buranello Cookies)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • Beat together until light around 3 minutes.
  • Add to the butter mixture:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 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 and traditional flavor
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel


How to cook Italian S Cookies or Greek Butter Cookies

  1. Mix all together until the dough blends together in a ball. If the dough is too dry add a few drops of cream or water. All moisture comes from the eggs.
  2. Wrap in plastic for 1 hour. Roll dough out into S shapes, making long ropes and bending the dough to shape into S forms. 
  3. Place of the greased cookie sheet. 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.
  4. Version 2 
  6. 1 cup butter softened
  7. 3/4 cup sugar
  8. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or anise extract
  9. 2 1/4 cups flour
  10. 1 egg
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. pinch of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  13. Powdered sugar for garnish
  14. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  15. Cream the sugar in a large bowl with butter until light. Add all the rest of the ingredients except powdered sugar until ball forms.
  16. Using around 2 teaspoons of dough roll into a log then form S shapes placing on cookie sheets. 
  17. For Greek Cookies roll into balls and bake the same at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, Cool roll in powdered sugar.
  18. For S-Shaped cookie dough:
  19. Bake until slightly browned edges form on the sides around 10 minutes. Cool completely then make a powdered sugar and water thin glaze. Dip each cookie in the glaze and sprinkle with colored candies.
  20. Orange Juice Cookies
  21. Click Here
Fat (grams)
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S shaped cookies, Butter Cookies, Venetian cookies, Italian cookies, shaped cookies
Italian Cookies, Cookies
Italian, Greek
Created using The Recipes Generator

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a plate of S shaped cookies with glazed and round colored sprinkles Italian style

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2016. It was edited and re-published in 2019.


  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!

  4. These would be super fun to make into different letters for early readers. Can't wait to try!

  5. Both look fabulous but I think I'll start with the frosted ones - yummy! I loved learning a little history behind these cookies - thank you for sharing!

  6. Can u add all the ingredients chocolate chips cherries coconut

    1. You can dip each end in chocolate melted with cherried chopped and coconut or nuts hope that helps


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