Christmas Italian Recipe Italian Cookies Recipe

How to make Sicilian Sesame seed cookies

The old fashioned Sicilian Sesame seed cookies or Biscotti ai semi di sesamo. This is a delicious Christmas cookies from Sicily.

SERVING: 48 cookies


Simple  Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Cookie Dough:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk or half and half
  • large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fiori di sicilia, from King Arthur Flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1- 1/4 cups butter, softened, 20 tablespoons, cut into about 15 pieces


  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, NOT TOASTED
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 4 rimmed half sheet pans with parchment paper. In a microwave save bowl, whisk together the sugar and water.

Microwave for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.


In a large mixing bowl, add the light brown sugar, egg and yolk, milk, vanilla extract and fiori di Sicilia.

Whisk by hand until frothy. Set aside.

With a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.

On medium low speed gradually add the butter pieces; mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal; 3-5 minutes.

Add the egg mixture and mix on medium speed just until the dough just comes together; about 1 minute. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour.

The dough should not stick to your fingers when pinched. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead into a ball.

This dough is best not refrigerated but formed and baked immediately. A cool room and surface makes these cookies easier to form.


With floured hands break off a handful of dough and roll into a 3/4″ rope.

Cut the rope into 4″ lengths. Dip one side of the rope first in the sugar syrup and then in the sesame seed/vanilla sugar.

Place the rope on the cookie sheet and push into a crescent. Place 12 to each cookie sheet.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until completely golden brown.

Reuse the parchment lined cookie sheets to repeat.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes and then store in a covered cookie jar.

This cookie keeps nicely for a week or two.

I like to store 8 to a twist tied cellophane bag and then in a cookie jar to keep them the freshest.

Tie with a festive ribbon and give to your friends and family as gifts from your kitchen.


Source: Adapted from

Facebook Comments
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply