Italian Sesame Seed Cookies
THEME: #279 SESAME SEEDS
RECIPE: ITALIAN SESAME SEED COOKIES/BISCOTTI REGINA
Italian Sesame Seed Cookies
Italian Sesame Seed Cookies/ Biscotti Regina, a classic Italian treat, so crunchy and lemony. These authentic Italian cookies are so easy to make. Originally called Biscotti Regina these cookies from the Sicily region make a good snack option. They can be served as dessert or with coffee. Translated, the name Biscotti Regina means Queen’s Biscuits. Crunchy outer because of the sesame seeds and a slightly soft center, these cookies are best enjoyed dunked in coffee, milk or tea.
Unlike the more famous biscotti we know which are twice baked, Biscotti Regina are baked only once. How they originated is debatable. In this case, it is believed that Queen Margherita (Margherita di Savoia II) was very fond of sweets and often visited bakeries with her ladies in waiting. So perhaps Biscotti Regina were baked in honor of her just the way Pizza Margherita was created for her.
FoodieMonday/ Bloghop Group
For the 279th theme, its my turn to suggest the theme. Therefore, I suggested Sesame Seeds. I’ve asked the members to use them in a recipe to prepare anything from soup to dessert. Actually, my initial plan was to make a Makar Sankranti recipe which is just round the corner. However, going through my bookmarked recipes I came across Italian Sesame Seed Cookies and got tempted to bake them. Indeed, I’m glad I did as these cookies are not overly sweet. They go perfectly well with my afternoon coffee.
In fact, I’ve been a part of FoodieMonday/Bloghop for over 4 years. But, after this theme I’m leaving the group as I need a break and a change too. In short, as I’ve repeatedly mentioned, I’ve learnt so much from this group and made some awesome friends too. On the whole I will miss the Monday routine but change must happen.
Sesame seeds as the name indicates are seeds. Actually, they are widely used in many different cuisines. Besides having a nutty taste, they have a high oil content. In fact, sesame seeds are used in bakes, deserts, main dishes, salads. Besides that, sesame seeds or simsim are used to make spice mixtures, tahini, butter, relishes, chutneys, etc. Also, sesame seed oil is used in many different cuisines too. There are mainly two types of sesame seeds, white and black. Certainly, sesame Seeds are rich in several minerals and is good for the skin, hair, heart and stomach. However, I will not go into details about the health benefits as that information is easily available on the internet.
Some Recipes where Sesame Seeds are used:
- Poppy Seeds and Sesame Crackers
- Semolina Sesame Seed Bread
- Chinese Smiling Sesame Cookie Balls
- Janeiiong/Black Sesame Seed Pulao
- Chocolate Sesame Fudge
- Pane Siciliano (Sicilian sesame seeded semolina bread)
- Sesame Honey Chilli Potatoes
- Tal and Mixed Nut Ladoo
- Til Gud Ladoo
- Tal Sankari
- Cilantro Scallion Rolls
- Mango Sriracha Hummus
Ingredients Required for Italian Sesame Seed Cookies
- Flour – traditionally all purose flour or plain flour is used. Here I have used wheat flour (atta). Use wheat flour that is meant for rotis or wheat pastry flour.
- Butter – use salted or unsalted. Long time ago lard was used but butter or oil have replaced it.
- Sesame Seeds – the sesame seeds are lightly roasted in a wide pan over low heat till they begin to pop. Stir continuously to avoid burning them.
- Baking Powder – as the leavening agent
- Sugar – I’ve used less sugar. Add more if you prefer sweet cookies.
- Lemon Zest – for flavour. Or you can use vanilla extract or anise extract.
- Milk – generally egg is used but I replaced it with milk and a little extra butter. If you want to use egg for the recipe given below use one egg and no milk.
- Egg free
- Consume in moderation as the cookies contain sugar and butter.
ITALIAN SESAME SEED COOKIES/ BISCOTTI REGINA
- ½ cup sesame seeds roasted
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 120 g butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest grated
- 8 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp honey
- Take a wide pan and add the sesame seeds. Roast the seeds over low heat, stirring all the time till they just begin to pop.
- Remove the roasted sesame seeds from the pan onto a plate. Allow the seeds to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line baking trays with parchment paper or grease it lightly with butter.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- Add sugar, honey and butter into another mixing bowl.
- Cream the mixture till it becomes light and fluffy.
- Add milk and lemon zest and mix till the milk is completely incorporated into the butter sugar mixture.
- Add the flour mixture. Using you hand make a soft dough.
- Take about a tablespoon of the cookie dough and roll it into a shape of yoru choice. You can make them round, logs or square.
- I shaped them into logs about 2 inches in length.
- Brush the logs very lightly with milk all over.
- Roll each long in the sesame seeds till they are fully coated.
- Arrange the cookies in a baking tray, an inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes at 180°C and then lowered the temperature to 150°C for the last five minutes.
- Remove the baked cookies from the oven.
- Remove them from the tray and allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight contianer or jar.
- Serve the cookies for dessert or with coffee, tea or milk.
- I've used wheat flour. You can replace it with all purpose flour.
- Make sure you roast the sesame seeds for that lovely nutty crunchy taste.
- Replace milk with an egg if you wish.
- Add flavoring of your choice.
- You can omit honey, but it adds a lovely flavour to the cookies.
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A little request:
If you do try this recipe then please either
- add a comment below,
- send a picture to my email email@example.com
- tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
- or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962
January 4, 2021 at 5:01 pm
The biscottis look so crunchy . I am sure the honey and sesame seeds flavor will make each bite an unforgettable experience. 🙂
January 4, 2021 at 8:46 pm
Thanks Priya, not only the sesame seeds and honey but the lemon zest too.
Ellu Kozhambu| Tamilnadu-Style Sesame Seed Gravy – The World Through My Eyes
January 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm
[…] cook and baker and the author of Mayuri’s Jikoni, who suggested the theme this Monday. The Biscotti Regina or Italian Sesame Seed Cookies Mayuri ji has shipped up for the theme look so delicious – I wish I could grab some of those […]
January 5, 2021 at 3:01 pm
Sesame seeds cookie look so delicious, crispy and crunchy. These are perfect for the winter time here.. will love to bake a batch for my family too.. interesting read about the history of these cute looking cookies. You always have been a source of inspiration to the members of the group.. we all will miss your presence there.
January 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Thank you so much Swati. I will miss you too but we will still keep in touch. These cookies are so easy to make, even kids can help to roll them.
Tilwale Aloo – food-trails
January 5, 2021 at 3:44 pm
[…] Tagging Tilwale Aloo to my Monday Facebook group Foodie Monday Bloghop, to this week’s theme- Sesame Seeds. The theme was suggested by Mayuri Patel ji who blogs at Mayuri’s Jikoni. Checkout her blog for lots of delicious healthy and nutritious recipes from across the globe. I have bookmarked few of her recipes to try out, like this delicious one pot meal Vegetarian Moussaka . She made for the theme these crispy and crunchy Italian Sesame Cookies. […]
The Girl Next Door
January 8, 2021 at 12:09 pm
Totally love the crunchy texture of these cookies! Can imagine how beautiful these would taste, with the sesame seeds, honey and lemon zest going into them. These would definitely be a treat for adults and children alike.
January 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Thank you so much Priya. The cookies are flavorful and so delicious dunked in tea, coffee or milk.
January 10, 2021 at 6:18 am
Your Italian sesame seeds cookies looks so crispy and delicious. I can feel the mixed aroma of lemon, sesame seeds and honey. I was planning to make it from a long time. Now I will definitely try it following your eggless recipe. We will always miss you so try to join again. Lots of best wishes for your future planning.
January 12, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Thank you so much Sujata, and you must try these cookies. Hopefully, one day will join back.
January 10, 2021 at 8:42 am
These Italian cookies are a total treat for cookie lovers. So crisp and crunchy. I just love these sesame studded cookies. We will definitely miss you . Hope you can join back soon. Take care. You are always an inspiration.
January 12, 2021 at 4:58 pm
Thank you so much Preethi, do try the cookie recipe when you get time, they are delicious. I will miss you all too and the vibes of the group. But we will always be in touch.
January 12, 2021 at 10:12 am
Italian sesame seeds cookies looks very inviting di. You made these cookies very healthy using wheat flour. Loved adding honey, aroma and taste of lemon zest and nutty taste of sesame seeds.
January 12, 2021 at 4:47 pm
Thank you so much Aruna, not too healthy as there still is butter and sugar. The sesame seeds definitely add so much crunch and flavour.
January 19, 2021 at 8:23 am
Is there any substitute for honey? will maple syrup work ?
January 19, 2021 at 4:44 pm
Hi Rita, yes definitely maple syrup will work well.
January 20, 2021 at 9:50 am
OMG! these glorious cookies are something I need to bake to sink my teeth in! How I wish these cookies were available off the shelf here in my town. Love the Mayuri and bookmarking it!
January 20, 2021 at 4:32 pm
Thank you so much Archana. Hopefully you will be able to bake them soon.
February 17, 2021 at 9:06 pm
Italian sesame seed cookies look so crunchy and delicious. Perfect to enjoy with a cup of hot Tea/Coffee. Love the nutty flavor of sesame seeds in any recipe.
February 17, 2021 at 9:07 pm
Thank you so much Narmadha.
March 10, 2021 at 1:44 am
I have been looking for a recipe for this cookie for a long time.
The ones I have tried before were not “the one.
I hope this is the one that will give me the taste and texture I am looking for.
I cannot wait to try it.
March 10, 2021 at 9:32 am
Thank you so much Annette. I hope they turn out good for you. Please let me know how the recipe works out for you.
August 30, 2021 at 1:36 am
Biscotti Regina looks different than normal Biscotti but it looks super crunchy. Addition of sesame seeds must have given a nutty taste to this.
August 30, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Thanks Amrita, yes these biscotti are a bit different. And what attracted me to try out the recipe is the amount of sesame seeds used.
December 21, 2021 at 8:41 pm
I guess I’m the only one who tried this recipe and suggest it better with some salt. Funny none was listed?? and no one noticed or corrected
December 28, 2021 at 5:38 pm
Thank you so much Stephano, I must have forgotten to write salt in the list. Will edit the recipe. Thank you for mentioning the error.
April 15, 2022 at 10:05 pm
These came out great! I made a few minor modifications. To begin with, I used all of your ingredients except halved (and combined all purpose flour with wheat and of course still used 1 egg) which makes 18-19 cookies. Here are the minor changes (this plus your ingredients):
1/2 cup APF
1/2 cup Wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 zest from whole lemon (this is much more than og recipe and gives a mild but noticeable lemon flavor)
I did not baste with milk but just rolled ~1” logs of slightly moist dough in the sesames. This works great. You may need to add more flour depending on how moist your dough feels (since still using 1egg with half recipe). If it gets too sticky, add flour to prevent it from becoming messy. I roll on lightly floured cutting board to prevent dough from sticking.
Finally, I baked on 350F for 22 minutes which browns lightly, leaves crisp outer cookies with a slightly softer core (not moist soft just slightly delicate). Taste as good as Italian bakery.
April 15, 2022 at 10:44 pm
Johnny, thank you so much for the feedback and the suggestions. I am planning to make them soon and will follow your suggestions. And this time will add the egg as it gives cookies a soft core.