Oro Saiwa Home-Made or… Petit Beurre

petit beurre

Every time that my mother comes to Sweden to visit us, she brings a suitcase full of Italian delicacies. Food items difficult to find here, such as… the olive oil from my uncle’s olive trees orchard in Liguria… 36 months aged Parmesan cheese… huge pieces of prosciutto di Parma for my little carnivore daughter… fresh basil and thyme from her garden… and…

…and mom’s favorite biscuits: Oro Saiwa. A must on her breakfast table since I have known her (ca 40 years). This time my daughter got totally hooked on the biscuits, and on the second day she had already finished grandma’s weekly provision. Disaster. No Oro Saiwa here, how to fix breakfast?

No problem. This 40 something Italian hippy immediately looked up her bible (Google) for a home-made version of the biscuits -which actually are not Italian in origin but French- Petit Beurre, this is it. I was not aware of it before the quick search, but apparently the net is now populated by several beautiful renditions of these cookies, probably because Rizzoli released a petit beurre kit which gives close to perfection results.

petit beurre

Well, I did not have the super duper cutters, but I still managed to make some darn fragrant cookies using what I had -a ravioli cutter and a fork. And of course I also had to health-ify the recipe, adding whole-grain spelt flour to the dough. And my mother? At first she was slightly amused and not so excited about the home-made thingy. But after they came out of the oven she asked for the recipe. Little, big, satisfactions.

petit beurre

petit beurre

petit beurre

petit beurre

Petit Beurre


  • 80g butter (2.8 oz)
  • 50g water (1/5 cup)
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 80g confectioner's sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 80g whole-grain spelt flour (2/3 cup)
  • 40g white spelt flour (1/3 cup)
  • 90g all purpose flour (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a saucepan combine the butter, water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring every now and then.
2. When the butter mixture is cool, add the vanilla extract and then the flour. Combine well, form into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours.
3. Roll out the cold dough into a thin sheet.
4. Cut the dough into rectangles with a ravioli cutter.
5. Transfer on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
6. Pinch each cookie with a fork.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 C/375 F degrees for 10-12 minutes.

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  1. Your post made me smile. I can just imagine your mother’s suit case. I used to do the same thing when I moved from home as there were things I couldn’t find at my new home across the country. Your petit beurre look great.

  2. I am hippie 40-something, too :-) ; and I will bake them ….
    Here the petit beurre is namend “Leibniz”. Must be something….there seem to be petit beurre evereywhere….

    • well, we are born after the 68 so we are bound to have some hippy blog in our veins :) Leibniz, right! I guess these type of biscuits are very “old” and they must have been a favorite for long long time all across Europe…

  3. I have to show this to my husband, he always pines for the petit beurres he got in Venice when he was a kid, and the little bakeries had not been taken over by mask shops (made in Taiwan.) I liked the German version, Leibniz Kekse, that Susanne mentions, but they must have changed the recipe, because they don’t quite taste the same.
    I will try these, my husband likes to dunk them in his coffee or tea, I want them crisp.

    • they sound like good memories :)
      never had freshly baked petit beurre before, they are indeed really nice and buttery (and are already finished).
      I tasted the German version, they taste different compared to the Italian ones but the concept is the same.

  4. I’m invititing your mom with Italian suitcase to Gdansk. This is on way to Sweden. In return I will fill her suitcase with Polish specialties :)

  5. those are nice and look the perfect thing. And suitcases filled in that manner will be welcomed everywhere, I think!

  6. I love it when the homemade version is better than the store-bought version. These look perfect with a cup of tea! I’m down with cookies for breakfast anytime :)

    • you are too nice to me… cannot say that these are better than the store-bought, but they were really nice and buttery, perfect with my caffe’ latte!

  7. I have a recipe that I make when I am out of biscotti (your mother is not the only one who needs her daily dose of them, though my favorite are not Oro Saiwa), but next time I will try yours as the result looks a lot better.

    • and now I have to wonder which were your favorite… I made also abbracci once and they were pretty close to the original (you can find the post with my search button, the preview does not work for posts older than 1 year -when I moved the site- so they could not be among the related posts)

  8. I love biscuits like these! Not overly sweet, just right with coffee or a cup of tea. Love those cute holes in them!

  9. Thanks for the recipe, I appreciate the addition of the wholewheat and especially the low butter content! Cool =) In Russia we have Maria biscuits which are quite close to petit beurre. I have no idea why they’re called Maria but it’s somehow been fixed and various producers around here and in other cities offer their basic biscuits under this name.
    Haha, when I was going somewhere from Russia for a long time, I always took buckwheat groats with me and sometimes millet and cracked wheat =) and Granny’s jam if I could. Pity I couldn’t take kefir with me! ;)

    • I’m in the process of making these biscuits (the dough is in the fridge now) and I forgot to add baking powder… hope they’ll turn out fine anyway. It was supposed to go in with the flour, right?

      • yes, it was supposed to go with the flour. the amount of baking powder is so small that you may not notice much difference. curious about the outcome!

        • I’ve just finished baking them! I used wholewheat and all-purpose flour instead of spelt, so my cookies are of a lighter colour. They somehow got burnt even before 10 minutes, not awfully, just partially. When I got them out of the oven, they smelt just like those Maria biscuits! I will try them tomorrow =)

  10. They ARE addictive! Even the slightly burnt ones, mmmm!

    • Georgia, you are precious! thank you for involving me in the process, it is so fun to receive updates on one of the recipes I posted. I will update the recipe with a larger range for the baking (8-12 minutes) and the warning to have an eye on the biscuits. much depends on the oven, so there can variations, important is to know it and look after the biscuits at least the first time. you may want to reduce the amount of sugar next time, I guess they would turn out ok anyway… and they call them Maria even here in Sweden! must be a Baltic thing :)

      • My pleasure! I left at my parents’ place a whole bag of these addictive Maria things on Sunday, sure there’s nothing left already =) The first batch took about 10 minutes and the second just under 8. But all cookies are great, the crunchier and the puffier ones, both. Yum!

        • I wish I could be so strong to give them away… I actually ate most of them, and in less than two days. I have a weakness for buttery and crunchy biscuits. ciao!!

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