S Cookies / Esse


S cookies were originally made using a funnel attached to an old-fashioned meat grinder, but they can be formed with a pastry bag.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 on a wedding cookie cake.


  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached, 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 inches apart, and shape each one into a 3-inch-long S, using the back of the spoon.
  4. 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 to cooling racks.
  5. Note: These are wonderful with coffee or tea and make a great after-school snack. They can be frozen, but will be softer in texture.

This recipe was featured on Season 5 - Episode 502.

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Maria Malooly

Am hoping you know the recipe for a (holiday) cooky made with yeast and rolled in powder sugar before baking. The version I had as a child was in shape of a crescent (sometimes an 8).
Thank you for your help.
Love your recipes!


Could I use 1 cup sugar instead of 2 cups it seams like a lot of sugR
Thank you

Irene Rock

Love, love, love Caio Italian!!! Watch it every time it’s on TV. I have for years. Can’t wait to visit the restaurant in Durham! I live in Hampton NH and plan on coming for dinner soon. Is Mary Ann ever there? I would love to meet her.

Donna Singh

I used brown sugar when I make mine. Everyone loved them

marian Colangelo

Torcetti cookies…Maria Malooly asked if anyone new the name of the cookie made with yeast. I found that recipe in an old paperback cook book. There are several recipes on the internet for Torcetti.

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