Breakfast Breads and Lattes/ Cookie and Snacks/ Dessert

Italian Lemon “S” Cookies

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies by

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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.  


These lemon “S” cookies are not too sweet and when drizzled with lemon icing along with the addition of spring-colored sprinkles on top, they become festive and ready for the Easter holiday. 


Here’s the original, base recipe with no modifications made to it.   

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 the lemon “S” cookies works well as a holiday treat or just to make any occasion special.   

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!

Or you can keep the entire batch for yourself … we won’t judge!  ๐Ÿ˜‰


On a wire rack, the glaze is drizzled on the S cookies. 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 and for decades.  So we followed her grandmother’s exact recipe and used Crisco.



Ingredients For Italian Lemon “S” Cookies:

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

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) of “Crisco”

  • 3 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest

  • 3 eggs – beaten

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. of milk 

For Lemon GLAZE:

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. milk, or non-dairy milk

  • zest of half of a lemon

  • 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. 

Steps to shaping the cookie dough into S Cookies. by

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.   

Sharping cookies into the letter S . by

Quick Reminder: If the first cookie you create cracks while you are shaping it into the letter S – it means the dough needs a little more moisture; and therefore, you will need to add a little more milk.  Then start again. 


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. 

Everyone will appreciate and benefit from your comment.  ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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…



Yield: 3 dozen

Italian Lemon "S" Cookies

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


  • 4 cups ( 544g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) (191g) of "Crisco" (at room temperature)
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3 eggs - beaten
  • 2 cups ( 400g) of sugar
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. milk ( or non-dairy milk)
  • For the Lemon GLAZE:
  • 2 cups ( 224g) 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.

Nutrition Information:


18 servings

Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 12.4gCholesterol: 34mgCarbohydrates: 44gSugar: 22.5gProtein: 3.9g

…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 on Pinterest We’d love to see what you bake!

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Happy Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

xo Anna and Liz

Serving size: 2 cookies
Servings: 18
Amount per serving  
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.4g 16%
Saturated Fat 4.9g 24%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
Total Sugars 22.5g  
Protein 3.9g  
Vitamin D 3mcg 13%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 125mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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  • Reply
    April 14, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing this special cookie with us. I’ve pinned and while the sprinkles are optional, I’ll be adding them to mine like you did. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      April 14, 2021 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks so much, Karen! I love your confidence in me! (lol) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    April 5, 2021 at 11:12 am

    So pretty! I’ve never tasted them but I can imagine how flaky and delicious they are based on the ingredients.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      April 5, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Susan. They are really good with your morning coffee. Relatively easy recipe, I hope you will try it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    April 2, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    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!)

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      April 2, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      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!

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