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Jun 28, 2011 05:34 PM

Savoiardi, Saviata or Shavolette Cookie Recipe

I’ve been looking for quite a while for a recipe for these cookies, which are carried in a number of Italian bakeries in Brooklyn & the rest of New York City and in New Jersey. They are delicious!!!

Bakeries sometimes use the names interchangeably and some carry both, but there are two distinct kinds of cookies. One is a standard ladyfinger, which is sometimes used in desserts like tierra misu cakes and are sometimes sold in packages. I do NOT want a recipe for these.

The one that I am looking for is flatter, more spongy, with a hint of vanilla (or almond?) and has a pale white crust or glaze on them.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on the web where someone sends up the ladyfinger kind. The one that I am looking for looks like these photos:

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks...John

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  1. Give these a try. And don't tell my Montreal relatives where you got the recipe. ;-)

    Savoiardi di XXXX

    -Preheat oven at 350º


    6 ex-large eggs
    1¼ to 1½ cups of granulated white sugar
    1 cup of vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons of vanilla
    3 or more cups of flour
    6 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
    1 or more cups of icing sugar

    - In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix well using an electric mixer

    - Add flour and lastly the baking powder. Now use a wooden spoon to add more flour if necessary and mix well.

    - Place a generous amount of icing sugar and spread evenly on a round aluminum plate

    - You must test the batter by dropping some batter using 2 teaspoons onto the icing sugar. If the batter spreads out then add some more flour to the rest of your batter.

    - Roll each one in the icing sugar and then transfer them onto the cooking sheet. You can use parchment paper or spray with PAM or grease and flour each cooking sheet to avoid sticking.

    - Place the pan in the preheated oven at the highest rack and bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies become golden.

    14 Replies
    1. re: pdxgastro

      Oh, and you can halve the recipe just to test it out. I think this makes a lot.

      1. re: pdxgastro

        Thanks for the recipe. I'll give it a whirl (and keep it south of the border).

        1. re: JWRB1

          I have been looking for the same "Saviata", not the Lady Fingers used for Tiramisú. Did you try the recipe suggested? Please let me know if it worked. It is a different recipe than regular Savoiardi.

          1. re: rjrjr17

            I am with you kep trying to recreate that Italian bakery Savoiardi but all the recipes are lady fingers. I did't try the recipe on your post because I would imagaine there would be more egg white and not the same amount of yolk and white. Any luck so far?

            1. re: Joemeeth

              The recipe at the top of the recipe is not mine. Jbwr1 said he'd git it a whirl

              1. re: Joemeeth

                I am hoping someone jwbr1 gives it a whirl and posts his results.

                1. re: rjrjr17

                  i tried the recipe this weekend but sorry to say it was not the same cookies as we have been searching for. The cookie was a light brown not white and the top was not cracky. The taste was not exactly right either i think it needed more egg whites and perhaps vanilla and almond exract tanks for the recipe though it was worth a try. sstill searching. i may have to see if i cn get it from nc bakery

                  1. re: Joemeeth

                    I tried it, but it also didn't work. I asked at a local bakery, but was only
                    told that it was a simple recipe and contained vanilla - no other info. If I
                    ever find the recipe, I'll post it here. Hope you will too.


                    1. re: JWRB1

                      What an elusive cookie! lol. I have tried some bakery versions that taste they have clove extract in them. I asked one and they said it was just cinnamon. I went to culinary school. I am almost tempted to offer my help as an intern just to clip the recipe.

                      1. re: rjrjr17

                        I have a good feeling about this.....we will suceed. There is a small bakery in Whitestone Queens that used to be near my home, I will stop by and see if I can get any additioal information. Roccos on Bleeker inthe Village also has a great version.

                        1. re: Joemeeth

                          I work as a Tour Guide in NY, giving tours in Italian, in Little Italy, and I have had the Italians try our ''Saviate'' and they cannot agree on a more common name for or variation.Some say Savoiardi Sardi, or Sorrentini, they argue whether the recipe uses yolks or not. But I searched further using these names and two wites with images show up, that look like them. Here are links. They are in Italian:



                          1. re: rjrjr17

                            The blog you linked to (i dolci di pinella) is just beautiful. The holidays are coming! It's in Italian, but a recipe in a language other than one's own isn't really such a problem any more, is it? The pictures are *definitely* universal.

        2. re: pdxgastro

          I tried the recipe but decreased it to thirds. I used cinnamon oil, that's what I was told was in them. So now I know what I did wrong. Don't add too much extra flour(makes it dry) and if you use cinnamon oil DO NOT use amount they tell you to use for extracts. I didn't understand the icing concept....but when I started doing it I understood.

          Will definitely try again.

          1. re: pdxgastro

            This is the exact recipe I have as well from Montreal in-laws....Its a great recipe.

          2. I hesitated to post because you said they weren't ladyfingers. A few of them are scented with lemon and the same don't separate the eggs. I came up with some that use vanilla and separates the eggs, including one recipe that I have at home; I will post if you like, but I've posted here one that is adapted using matcha with some background info, the other recipe is straight from cordon bleu at home. I think the photos that you posted are piped wider onto the cookie sheet (if it's what you're looking for):



            I haven't tried the one I have at home, but it's from "Biscotti", Talbott and Misenti and it's based on Ada Boni's "The Talisman Cookbook". I can paraphrase and it's similar to the one I posted above.

            6 Replies
            1. re: lilgi

              Thank you for these contributions. These seem worth a try.

              1. re: rjrjr17

                yw! I'd love to know either way if it's what you're looking for (or getting close).

                1. re: lilgi

                  The pics cook very close. Not sure about the Matcha idea, but the other recipe says to dust with powdered sugar, let rest and dust again. That is probably what causes the crunchy exterior. That is the key to the version I am looking for. Crynchy outside and a chewy interior. The flavoring, be it cinnamon, clove lemon, etc can be adjusted to one's own taste, it is the texture and shape that I am interested in. Not sure when I can get to baking, but if I do I will post results.

                  1. re: rjrjr17

                    I posted the one using matcha more because she talks about the cookie, and sometimes ethnic cookies/baked goods have elusive flavors (I think the best cannolis I've had use a bit of clove oil - a hint someone posted on another thread), and to show the photos, but it's the same recipe from cordon bleu that she adapted.

                    The recipe I have uses both granulated and powdered to coat with a rest in between. If you pipe them thick and generously onto the sheet you might get the spongy interior and they'll probably look like the photo, but I couldn't say for sure.

                    1. re: lilgi

                      looks like i will be baking this weekend I wil let you know how it goes. Thanks so much I feel optimistic

                      1. re: Joemeeth

                        yay! for vanilla flavor you could start with 1/2 teaspoon of extract for that amount, optional. Good luck!

            2. The name of these cookies are actually Shavolette. I am a chef by trade and my mother (who is an amazing cook and baker) has been looking for this recipe for years. There are a few places in NY that carry them but there aren't any recipes to be found. I believe that it is the Savoiardi recipe with some adjustments. Maybe omit any baking powder or soda if it calls for it. This will keep them more dense. I would let them sit before baking so that they do deflate and flatten then brush the top with eggwhites or maybe even a cornstarch slurry. Baking soda and baking powder lose their lift and effectiveness after about ten minutes if you do not bake them right away. Give it a try, I am going to.

              1. Have you found your perfect recipe? I used to call them flat cookies as a kid. My absolute favorite! My mom never found a recipe for them. I would love to try and make them!

                5 Replies
                1. re: Celeste67

                  Sorry. I never found it. I gave up. Luckily for me, a local bakery makes them.

                  1. re: JWRB1

                    Just had these bad boys with Easter dessert, as we do with every holiday. Would love a recipe for them just to have. There's definitely almond extract or even almond paste in the ones we get. They are delicious, soft, chewy, and dense with a thin crunch on top. Nothing like ladyfingers.

                    1. re: JWRB1


                      I think I found it. Copy to google translate. But this LOOKS like them.

                      1. re: rjrjr17

                        I am so excited, these look like the ones I remember! Thank you for finding this! Can't wait to try the recipe!

                        1. re: Celeste67

                          These cookies are unknown in Italy. Savoiardi are used for ''Tiramisù.'' These are, as we call them here in NYC, ''Saviata''. I detect a little cinnamon, maybe clove, in our version. Enjoy!

                  2. You're looking for a Saviata (alternate spelling: Saviatta). This is the Sicilian style lady finger. Pronunciation and recipe varies throughout Italy.

                    You may find a pastry shop that sells the cookie, but there's no way of knowing if it's what you're looking for until you bite in to it.

                    The best Saviata I've had was seasoned with vanilla bean and additionally flavored with vanallin.

                    Pastry is just like any other food originating from a culture or region. There is usually a common set of ingredients and preparations for any dish, but the actual recipe varies from province to province, town to town, family to family, and cook to cook.

                    When you find a specific pastry that you like, usually, the only place you'll find exactly what you remember tasting is the place you found the pastry the first time. However, that's the fun of eating and tasting. One day you may stumble upon a Saviata that tastes exactly like the one you've been searching for, and that's the day all the happy memories associated with the taste, aroma, and texture of the food will come rushing back, leaving you smiling in a warm bath of nostalgia.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: franksalvo

                      I have been looking for 20 years. I'm getting very close. Baked these tonight and they taste fantastic. THe lost Saviata recipe or pritty darn close.