Italian Lemon “S” Cookies

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies by

Italian Lemon S Cookies are old-fashioned cookies shaped into the letter “S.” They are crisp on the outside and crumbly on the inside.  A delightful favorable hint of lemon flavor in every bite makes these the cookies we love to dunk in our coffee.  Our grandmothers made this recipe with simple, staple ingredients which still work today.

Recipe for Italian Lemon S Cookies!

This is the original recipe with no modifications made to it. 

I’m so happy today!  You are going to LOVE these cookies!

A family friend shared her Italian (from Sicily) grandmother’s cookie recipe with me.

I was delighted to make them with her as a surprise for my Sicilian husband because it was his favorite cookies from his childhood.

His mom (my mother-in-law) would add a shot of espresso to his morning cup of warm milk making it the perfect place to “dunk” these cookies.

So making these cookies, would be perfect for not only him but for my entire family.

A platter filled with "S" cookies. by


Whether you make them for your loved ones or as a gift for dear friends, rest assured that EVERYONE will enjoy them!

Plus, our recipe for Easy Low-Fat Caffe Lattes would go perfectly with these cookies.

This recipe for Italian lemon “S” cookies works well at breakfast, as a snack in the afternoon, or serve them as a holiday treat.

Best of all, they are very versatile!

You can freeze them, take them to parties, gift them or treat yourself to some cookies with your morning coffee!  YUM!

If you prefer, you can keep the entire batch for yourself … we won’t judge!  πŸ˜‰

On a wire rack, the glaze is drizzled on the S cookies. by


How To Make Italian Lemon “S” Cookies?

For these Italian Lemon “S” Cookies, you will need:

Ingredients needed for these lemon “S” cookies:

  • all-purpose flour
  • ( 2 sticks) of “Crisco”
  • baking powder
  • lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • some milk

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • powdered sugar
  • milk, or non-dairy milk
  • some lemon zest
  • nonpareils rainbow sprinkles

How to Shape These Cookies into the letter “S”…

There are 4-easy-steps to shape these cookies into the letter S: 

1.  First, grab some cookie dough by the tablespoon.

2.  Then roll it into a ball.

Steps to shaping the cookie dough into S Cookies. by

3.  Next, roll the ball in the middle of your palm, and roll back and forth until the ball elongates into 2 to 3 inches long.

4.  Then shape it into the letter S, and make it a tight S, so it will bake without losing its form.

Steps to shaping the cookie dough into S Cookies. by

WATCH our Short Video on how to make an ‘S’ Cookie! (1-minute)

Quick Tip and Reminder:

  • If the first cookie creates cracks while you are shaping it into the letter S – it means the dough needs a little more moisture.
  • Therefore, you will need to add a little more milk to the cookie dough. Work it in.
  • Then start again.
Sharping cookies into the letter S . by

Notes and Tips for Italian Lemon “S” Cookies…

  • Don’t overwork the cookie dough, or your cookies will turn out hard.

  • If the dough feels dry or tends to crumble while you are forming your first S cookie, you will need to add a little “splash” of milk and work it back into the dough, then start again.

  • All ovens vary, once the cookies start to turn golden on top, they are ready and you can remove them from the oven.

  • Allow the cookies to completely cool before drizzling the lemon icing over them.  And, of course, the sprinkles are optional.

  • The original recipe calls for using “Crisco”  instead of butter, which back then was widely used in baking goods for decades.  So we followed her grandmother’s exact recipe and used Crisco.

Can these cookies be made gluten-free? 

Since this was the first time I made these lemon “S” cookies, I have not yet made them gluten-free. But if you do, please leave a comment and share your outcome and experience along with which flour you used.



Can we use butter instead of Crisco? 

The original recipe calls for Crisco, but I imagine you can use butter.  My girlfriend, Christine told me it might change the texture of these cookies.  If you prefer butter, it’s worth a try.

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies by

This recipe for Italian Lemon “S’ Cookies is very easy to whip up and bake. 

You only need a little time to shape each ball into the letter ‘S’ – but it’s worth it!

Finally, when we surprised my husband with these cookies – he had tears in his eyes….. it just melted my heart… gotta love him. πŸ˜‰

Thanks to my dear friend, Christine for sharing her grandmother’s recipe.  (You are the best, Christine!)

ENJOY … and make these cookies!   You will love them as much as we do.


More Delicious Cookies and Breakfast Treats…

Additional Lemon Treats!

Yield: 3 dozen

Italian Lemon S Cookies

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies are old-fashioned cookies shaped into the letter "S." They are crisp on the outside and crumbly on the inside.Β  A delightful favorable hint of lemon flavor in every bite makes these the cookies we love to dunk in our coffee.Β 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 cups ( 544grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) (191grams) of "Crisco" (at room temperature)
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3 eggs - beaten
  • 2 cups ( 400grams) of sugar
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. milk ( or non-dairy milk)
  • 2 cups ( 224grams) of powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk, or non-dairy milk
  • zest of half of a lemon
  • nonpareils rainbow sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190.6 C).
  2. Best and cream shortening with sugar and eggs, lemon zest, and baking powder. Add in 2 tablespoons of milk. Then gradually beat in the flour. Use a large wooden spoon to help mix in the remaining flour. The cookie dough should be pliable, but very thick.
  3. Test the dough, and try to make one cookie. If the cookie easily cracks while shaping it, then it needs a little more moisture and it needs more milk. Add in a little milk to help moisten the dough to make it work to shape into S cookies.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Then grab some cookie dough by the tablespoon and roll it into a ball. Then roll the ball in the middle of your palm and roll back and forth until the ball elongates into 2 to 3 inches long. Then shape it into the letter "S," and make it a tight "S" so it will bake without losing its form. Continue to make as many cookies, until all the dough is gone.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are a soft golden color.
  6. Remove and set them aside to cool completely before drizzling the glaze on top.
  7. yields: 3 dozen cookies

To Glaze the "S" Cookies:

  1. Place the cookies onto a cookie sheet or on a wire rack with wax paper underneath. Using a fork or spoon to drizzle the icing over the cookies, swaying back and forth across the cookies.
  2. Sprinkle on top with colorful Non-Pareil sprinkles. Allow the cookies to set with the glaze.
  3. Then you can store the cookies in an air-tight sealed container.


See Video or Photos in post!

Nutrition Information:


3 dozen ( 36 cookies)

Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 6.3gCholesterol: 34mgCarbohydrates: 28.7gFiber: .4gSugar: 17.8gProtein: 2g

…Thanks for Pinning!

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies by

Have a great day everyone!   

If you try our recipe for Italian Lemon “S” Cookies, let us know and leave a comment! Have fun and snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram @2sistersrecipes, and Pinterest We’d love to see what you bake!

Don’t forget to join our baking and cooking community and get our E-BOOK – Free!  Enter your email in our ‘Weekly Subscribe Box’ and be the first to get new recipes every time we post and reminders of great older ones too!

For more delicious baking ideas, follow us on Pinterest and Facebook!

Happy Baking! πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

xo Anna and Liz

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. Thanks so much, Susan. They are really good with your morning coffee. Relatively easy recipe, I hope you will try it. πŸ™‚

  1. Hello Anna & Liz,
    Oh my goodness! Love that you posted this recipe! My grandmother was from Sicily too, and my Italian Mom and Aunts made these many years ago. I remember watching my mom make “S’s” and “O’s” and they looked exactly like these. Unfortunately they all relied on memory and there was no written recipes. So glad you posted this, it brings back great memories. I’ll have to make them soon!
    Thank you ( I love your recipes!)

    1. Hi Janet! So glad to hear! It’s so true, and it’s the same with our mom, who cooked mostly by memory and had never had anything written down to pass onto us. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was and grateful that my friend Christine told me she had her grandmother and aunt’s recipe written down. Thanks so much for your email!