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thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

Making s cookies, I remember

Thank you so much to the reader, Valerie, who wrote to ask me about the s cookies that my Grandma used to make! I remembered that I had mentioned those light and delicious cookies in my last post about observation and  memory.

My grandma Marianna used to make them  with us , allowing us to help mix and then shape the cookie into an "s" shape after she pressed the dough through an extruder. I remember her kind hands helping us, patiently waiting for them to come out of the oven and finally sharing a taste after they cooled. The were simple and not too sweet.  When I recall them , I remember the the kindness of my Grandma, the sun in her kitchen and the warm fragrance of baking cookies.

Motivated, I searched for our family book of Sicilian recipes and called my dear cousin Trisha who helped me find the it! I studied the recipe, unconvinced that it was the same as the ones I had made years ago. After searching the internet, I found a recipe by Tom del Rosso that fit more closely to my memory.

I substituted organic palm oil shortening by Spectrum  for Crisco. I was especially thriled to find the combination of vanilla and lemon flavors, as I think that was part of it too. I used the pastry bag method and prefer them golden brown.  Enjoy!  Thank you, each of you for the nudge to get that recipe!

S cookies were originally made using a funnel attached to an old-fashioned meat grinder, but they can be formed with a pastry bag. Sometimes they are shaped like a figure eight. This cookie is soft when it first comes out of the oven, but crisps up like a sugar cookie as it cools. They are a cookie jar favorite, but also look stylish ona wedding cookie cake.


3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup solid vegetable shortening, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and lemon-colored.
  • Whisk in the shortening, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • Gradually stir in the flour mixture, mixing well to blend the ingredients. Let the batter sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Fill a tipless pastry bag two thirds full of the batter to form 3-inch-long Ss or 8s on cookie sheets. Or drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inchesapart, and shape each one into a 3-inch-long S, using the back of the spoon.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Watch carefully and rotate the sheets to prevent burning. Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheets before removing them tocooling racks.

Note: These are wonderful with coffee or tea and make a greatafter-school snack. They can be frozen, but will be softer in texture.

I'd love to hear about times when making something has triggered a memory of someone close to your heart!