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Reginelle {Italian Sesame Cookies}

These sweet Reginelle Cookies, also known as Italian sesame seed cookies or Regina Cookies (“Biscotti Regina” in Italian), originated in Palermo but are found all around Sicily.

So you want to be really precise these are Sicilian Sesame Cookies.

Easy To Make Italian Sesame Cookies {Reginelle}

Whatever you call them, they are an absolute must-try! Not only are they insanely delicious, but they are also actually incredibly easy to make as well.

Reginelle cookies have sweet, nutty flavor due to sesame seeds and a pleasant satisfying crunch that you’ll love from the first bite!

Delicious Italian Sesame Cookies {Reginelle}

Since these Italian sesame cookies are so simple to make, they make the perfect treat for any occasion (including Christmas Cookie Trays) or no occasion at all. You could simply make a batch just to fill your cookie jar.

Enjoy Reginelle Cookies anytime of the day but they are absolutely irresistible paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Want to try them Italian way? Pour yourself a glass of Marsala!

With just seven easy to find ingredients you can whip up a batch of these delightful cookies in no time, and take yourself to Sicily without leaving your home.

In fact, you may have most of these ingredients, if not all, in your pantry already. 

Here’s what you need to make Reginelle Cookies.

Italian Sesame Cookies {Reginelle}

Ingredients for Italian Sesame Cookies (Reginelle)

  • Flour – all purpose flour.
  • Butter – softened at room temperature
  • Sugar – add 2 more tablespoons to the basic recipe if you like a bit of extra sweetness
  • Lemon Zest from a non-treated lemon (or an orange). You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired
  • Eggs – medium size
  • Sesame Seeds – if using raw sesame seeds, toast them lightly in a pan on low heat for a few minutes. Transfer in a bowl and let cool completely. Don’t overtoast sesame seeds as they’ll continue to brown in the oven when you bake the cookies.
  • Toasting really helps to bring out all the flavors from the sesame seeds.
    Yes, you can use raw sesame seeds, but the cookies with be much lighter in color and will have a much milder sesame flavor and aroma. 

If you have little ones in the house, don’t forget to engage them as well. They will have so much fun dipping the cookies and rolling them in sesame seeds. And why not make a batch of these for Santa?

These Italian sesame cookies are sure to become a fast favorite for the entire family and will be requested often! So don’t forget to save the recipe 😉

More Italian Cookies To Try:

Easy To Make Italian Sesame Cookies {Reginelle}
5 from 2 votes

Reginelle {Italian Sesame Cookies}

These sweet Reginelle Cookies, also known as Italian sesame seed cookies or Regina Cookies (“Biscotti Regina” in Italian), originated in Palermo but are found all around Sicily.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 30 cookies


For the dough:

  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour , 500 g
  • 1 ½ stick butter , 170 g softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp sugar , 140 g – see notes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For Sesame Coating:

  • 1 cup sesame seeds , 150 g lightly toasted
  • Water


  • In a large bowl combined all ingredients needed to the dough. Mix with your hands or in a standing mixer until all ingredients are combined.
    NOTE: it's recommended to set about 1/2 cup of flour aside (from the total amount) before making the dough. As the dough comes together add the remaining flour if needed.
  • Transfer the dough to work surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth ball forms.
  • Wrap in a plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • You can make the dough the day before and take it out of the fridge 2 hours before baking the cookies.
  • Pinch of a nice piece of the dough and roll it out into about ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick rope. Cut each rope into about 2 inch (2 cm) thick pieces.
  • If you want to have cookies more or less of the same size measure each piece you cut with a sample piece of dough.
  • Press each cookies with a palm of your hand to slightly flatten them out.
  • Quickly dip each cookies in water or milk and roll in sesame seeds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • As an alternative arrange cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and using clean spray bottle spray them with water.
  • Then dip each cookie in sesame seeds and place back on a baking sheet.
    This last method is less messy but either one will work great for the final result.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Let cool and enjoy!


Add 2 more tablespoons to the basic recipe if you like a bit of extra sweetness.
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Italian Sesame Cookies {Reginelle}

Buon Appetito!

Recipe Rating


Thursday 22nd of December 2022

I'm planning to triple the batch size for the holidays and wonder how you can bake several sheets in one oven simultaneously to reduce the total time for baking somewhat. Any suggestions on rotating the sheets and when?

Italian Recipe Book

Friday 23rd of December 2022

Hello Stephano, honestly I've never tried baking more than one sheet of these sesame cookies at a time. You probably can get away baking 2 sheets simultaneously and rotating them half through baking time and than again 5 minutes before doneness, make sure to check coloration. You'll also might need to increase cooking time slightly (5-8 minutes). Having said that, I don't recommend baking more than 2 cookie sheets. Let me know how it turns out. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday 21st of October 2022

I followed the recipe exactly. These cookies/biscuits are AMAZING

Italian Recipe Book

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

So happy you loved them, Liz! Enjoy

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Saturday 26th of March 2022

I want to know how best to store these cookies to eat right away and how to freeze them as well. Thank you. They are delicious!