Grandma Biscuits

(“Biscotti della Nonna” – “Viscuotta a Esse”)


                      Biscotti a S

This recipe comes from the Sicilian side of Frank Curcurato's family.
Grandma Concetta made these biscuits in her home town of Villasmundo in the province of Syracuse and called them biscotti a esse (S shaped biscuits).  Frank says that every time he went to see Grandma Concetta, and it was almost every day, she would give him cookies to take to his siblings to enjoy and share with them. When Frank bakes these cookies, following the old recipe, the smell of the biscuits fills the air and the memory of Grandma comes back to him with the nostalgia of past days.







  • 5 cups sifted flour                                            
  • 1/2  cup confectionary sugar                
  • 1 cup sugar                               
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup lard or replace w/ 4 oz. butter
  • 2 whole medium eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 drops of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg for egg washing
  • few tablespoons of milk if needed





The Dough
Make a well with the flour, place in it and combine sugar and butter. 
Add eggs, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, zest and vanilla.  Mix all ingredients with the help of a fork and then using your hands knead to bring dough together.
Do not over mix. Do not handle dough more than necessary.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Prepare pan cookie sheet greased and dusted with flour.


The Biscuits
Cut dough in 4 pieces and each pieces in 2 parts. Knead dough to make the piece of dough compact and shape each part into 1 ½ inch roll. Cut it into pieces to form small sticks about 4 inches long and ½ inch thick, place each piece into greased pans 2 inches apart and shape it to form an “S”.


The Baking
Beat 1 egg adding 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash.
With the help of a brush go over cookies with the egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cookies are golden color.