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Cookies without Nuts
 Susamielli Christmas Campanian honey spice S cookies
Susamielli (S-shaped, Neapolitan Christmas honey spice cookies flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Adapted from an Italian cookbook published in the 1980s; Italian Wikipedia notes

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1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A pinch of black pepper

For decoration
about 1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat the honey and the sugar over a double boiler until melted.

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pepper together.

Mix flour mixture with sugar mixture, and work into a soft dough, kneading for 3 to 4 minutes.

Take a piece of dough and make a stick 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide.

Shape the stick into an S.

Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on the S-shaped cookie (Optional).

Arrange on a baking sheet.

Repeat the steps until all the dough is processed.

Bake for about 20 to 28 minutes or until golden.


The following text comes from the Italian Wikipedia (Machine google translation): "The susamielli are sweets in the shape of an "S" of Neapolitan cuisine typical of the Christmas period. They are prepared with flour, sugar, almonds and honey and flavored with cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg. A variant, elliptical, are the those that were prepared by the Clare nuns in the convent of Santa Maria della Sapienza in Sorrento. The susamielli are often sold along with raffiuoli, mustaccioli and most popular Rococo, which together with struffoli are typical Neapolitan Christmas sweets.... Original Italian text: SUSAMIELLI I susamielli sono dei dolci a forma di "S" della cucina napoletana tipici del periodo di Natale. Si preparano con farina, zucchero, mandorle e miele, e sono aromatizzati con cannella, pepe, noce moscata. Una variante, di forma ellittica, sono le sapienze che venivano preparate dalle suore clarisse nel convento di Santa Maria della Sapienza a Sorrento. I susamielli sono spesso venduti insieme a raffiuoli, mustaccioli ed i più popolari roccocò, che insieme agli struffoli sono i dolci tipici del Natale napoletano. VOrigini Luogo d'origine Italia Italia Regione Campania Zona di produzione Soprattutto a Torre del Greco e dintorni Dettagli Categoria dolce Riconoscimento P.A.T. Settore Paste fresche e prodotti della panetteria, della biscotteria, della pasticceria e della confetteri.........." P.S. I tried this recipe and found the cookies made with this traditional recipe were very hard, and because of it, not too much to my liking.... The name of this sweet, "Susamielli" sounds very much like the name of another Italian sweet, "susumelle," which describes Calabrian Christmas cookies (for recipe see Italy Revisited/Cookies without Nuts) but it appears that the word, "Susmelle" and sometimes, "susumelle," can also describe horseshoe-shaped miniature calzone from the Abruzzo region (see Italy Revisited/Calconi). The fact is that all these words have, "mielli," in it, and "mielli" sounds a lot like the Italian word for honey, so it is not surprising that a number of sweets from a number of areas in Italy include this word, what is surprising is that the sweets with very similar names don't look anything like each other, nor do they taste similar. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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