Baked Sunday Mornings: S Cookies

I'm very happy to be a member of Baked Sunday Mornings. It's great fun baking through all of the Baked cookbooks, and strict adherence to the baking schedule has caused me to try some recipes that I might otherwise have passed over. The "S Cookies" in Baked Occasions are just such a recipe. The recipe is part of the "Twelve Days of Cookies" section of holiday recipes, but I had zero familiarity with this particular cookie, which is described as "biscotti-like in nature, crisp and brittle, but toothsome." The photos of the cookies in the cookbook don't make them seem particularly interesting -- a boring-looking blond squiggle.

The recipe is unlike any cookie I've made before. You start out by heating sugar with a little milk until the sugar dissolves. Then in a mixer, you beat eggs; add the cooled milk-sugar mixture; pour in oil and vanilla paste (I used the scraped seeds from 1.5 vanilla beans instead); add baking powder; and gradually add flour mixed with salt. You knead the dough briefly (coating your hands and your work surface with shortening first), wrap it in plastic, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then you roll pieces of dough into a rope, form them in an S shape, and use a knife to cut a small slash at both ends of the S.
I used a scale to weigh out 30 grams of dough for each cookie, and I got 49 cookies from my batch. The dough was not sticky and it was extremely easy to handle; I didn't have any problems with the dough cracking or drying out. The cookies became golden and puffy during baking but still retained a clean "S" shape.

These cookies were really good. I loved the strong, clean vanilla flavor. While they would be excellent for dunking, I certainly would not describe them as either crisp or brittle; the cookies were sturdy and dry, but they were not dried out and they didn't remind me at all of biscotti. I found them somewhat addictive and I would happily make them again. It was a wonderful surprise to find that was so much more to this plain vanilla cookie than met the eye.

Recipe: "S Cookies" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Louise said…
Hmmm ... I would have had the same initial hesitation and passed over this recipe. Glad they are tasty.
Anonymous said…
Your cookies are so beautiful! The dough looks so smooth and the S's are perfect! Mine weren't quite as smooth and they puffed so much that the S's closed up somewhat-- I wish they looked like yours! :)