Saturday, July 14, 2012

Biscotti di Regina; Italian Sesame Cookies

A friend's son is graduating from High School!  I can't believe it!  I remember when he was a baby, a toddler, a teenager and now he's a high school graduate!  He's grown in to such a handsome man!  We got the invitation in the mail and I couldn't believe it was him!  Where did the time go?  Seriously?  I didn't believe it was him.  I just remember this little munchkin with his prophetic opinions.  =)  

Well time does pass and funny thing is that his mom has known me before well I was born.  She grew up with my sister in a group of friends.  All of them were like my older sisters.  They took me everywhere and were so good to me all through my life and still have a place in my heart after all this time.  I've seen them grow up, get married, have careers and now see their children grow up!  Now I feel like I'm one of the girls now.  I wish only that I could see them more often.  Thanks to Facebook, we can keep in touch more often! You know life gets busy and like I said boy does time fly!

I offered that if anything is needed like bakery or whatever let me know.  Rosa took me up on my offer and these are one of the cookies I made.  These cookies are on every Italian cookie tray!  A traditional Italian Bakery Cookie and also a Christmas Cookie.  They are so easy to make that these can be made all the time and are perfect to be served with Tea, Coffee or even just on their own.

Don't let the sesame seed derail you from trying these cookies, they provide a nutty flavor and texture.  I mean who eats cookies with Sesame Seeds, well Italians do for starters.  Sesame Seeds are a Mediterranean staple.  Of course it's not a surprise that these cookies are of Sicilian origin.  We enjoy them countrywide and in among all Italians no matter where you are from.

Most people secondly would also dodge the traditional Anise flavor in them.  I am the same way when it comes to Anise, but Anise could be used well or bad.  In this recipe it's perfectly played.  If you are insistent on avoiding Anise, you can certainly use Pure Almond or Vanilla Extracts.  There is also a great  extract called Fiori Di Sicilia (Flower of Sicily) that you buy online to substitute the Anise.  It's a Citrus, Vanilla and Floral notes in the extract.  Perfect for this cookie as well.

I highly recommend you store these in a tightly covered container to maintain their flavor and freshness and perfect for freezing!  If you want you can also skip shaping the cookie into a log and make them into balls.

I hope you give these cookies a chance, I don't think you will be disappointed!

**Just in case you have a hard time finding sesame seeds, don't waste money on the little jars from like McCormick and such those are just to accent, they don't have enough in the jar and cost too much, go to a local Asian food store or ask your local Grocer or Bakery to sell you them!  I found every other seed except Sesame Seeds and my local Grocer's Bakery sold me a Pound so cheap!

PS:  Congratulations Max!!!!

Biscotti Di Regina
2 sticks of Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar 
1 egg, room temperature 
2 teaspoons PURE Anise extract 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1 cup sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in the egg and anise extract until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well incorporated with a mixer.

The dough will be soft, but will hand roll easily. Pinch off pieces of dough slightly smaller than a walnut, and roll them into small logs. Roll in sesame seeds.

Place cookies one inch apart on a cookie sheet. Cookies will not spread very much.

Bake for 14 to 20 minutes (depends on your oven strength, mine runs a little hotter) in the preheated oven, or until bottom and sides of cookies are lightly toasted.

Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Yes that is a Halloween Platter Plate from Corelle!  LOL!

Dolci Sogni
(dole chee sewn yee)
Sweet Dreams in Italian,


  1. yummy! Thanks for sharing this tasty post with us..

  2. Congratulations to Max! you're such a wonderful friend, Annamaria, always ready to help;-) I wish I lived closer to you, so I could stop by every once in a while to try out your delicious treats;-))))

  3. These look enchanting. I can't wait to try them. Thank-you. :)
    Brenda H.

    1. They are great and you can omit the sesame seeds on them if you'd like! My mom likes them with and without and you can dust them with powder sugar. They are great!

  4. Beautiful story and with a just graduated High School kid I agree with the whole "Where did the time go". Too fast for sure!
    These cookies look delicious. Thanks for sharing at Creative Thursday :) Have a wonderful week.

    1. Thank you Michelle! It is true, I can't believe my daughter is in 3rd grade already. I look at her sometimes and see such a young lady! My son is 3 and I can't believe it hearing him talk and saying shapes like Octagon! Thanks for having me at your Linky Party!!!!


  5. I must make these! Thank you for sharing it.