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Thread: Italian S cookies

  1. #1
    Tom Del Rosso Guest

    Default Italian S cookies


    When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    it. Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs
    Costa didn't use that. Which recipe is authentic?


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  2. #2
    Nancy2 Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    On Dec 8, 2:24*pm, "Tom Del Rosso" <td...@att.net.invalid> wrote:
    > When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    > God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    > These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    > great. *Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    > it. *Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sureMrs
    > Costa didn't use that. *Which recipe is authentic?
    >
    > --
    >
    > Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
    > zero, and remove the last word.


    You might be surprised - Crisco has been around for a l-o-n-g time,
    and there were other brands of veg. shortening, too.

    N.

  3. #3
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    "Tom Del Rosso" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    >God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    >These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    >great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    >it. Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs
    >Costa didn't use that. Which recipe is authentic?


    I've asked a similar question but just knew it was an ingredient
    common to pre-WWI Europe - but hard to find in upstate NY in the 70's.

    Someone thought it could have been Irish butter- so I got around to
    making some butter cookies with Kerrygold this week. Great flavor-
    the texture is pretty good- but it isn't the very unusual flavor that
    stuck with me all these years. [and talk about simple- 1 cup
    butter,1 cup sugar, flour enough to make workable. I used 1 1/2 cups-
    will probably use closer to 2 next time]

    I'm going to start trying rendered fats as I find them-- suet, lard,
    goose fat, mutton, turkey. . . .

    And while we're thinking, can we speculate on what the Greeks used for
    shortening, too?

    Jim

  4. #4
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > Someone thought it could have been Irish butter- so I got around to
    > making some butter cookies with Kerrygold this week. Great flavor-
    > the texture is pretty good- but it isn't the very unusual flavor that
    > stuck with me all these years. [and talk about simple- 1 cup
    > butter,1 cup sugar, flour enough to make workable. I used 1 1/2 cups-
    > will probably use closer to 2 next time]
    >
    > I'm going to start trying rendered fats as I find them-- suet, lard,
    > goose fat, mutton, turkey. . . .
    >
    > And while we're thinking, can we speculate on what the Greeks used for
    > shortening, too?
    >
    > Jim


    Are you sure the missing mystery flavor you're seeking comes from the
    fat? I know that my grandmother's baked recipes often contained a little
    wine or liquor.
    Just a thought
    Goomba

  5. #5
    gloria.p Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Tom Del Rosso wrote:
    > When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    > God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    > These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    > great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    > it. Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs
    > Costa didn't use that. Which recipe is authentic?
    >
    >



    Were they shortbread? Spritz?
    Almond, anise, or lemon flavored?

    gloria p

  6. #6
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Goomba <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >
    >> Someone thought it could have been Irish butter- so I got around to
    >> making some butter cookies with Kerrygold this week. Great flavor-
    >> the texture is pretty good- but it isn't the very unusual flavor that
    >> stuck with me all these years. [and talk about simple- 1 cup
    >> butter,1 cup sugar, flour enough to make workable. I used 1 1/2 cups-
    >> will probably use closer to 2 next time]
    >>
    >> I'm going to start trying rendered fats as I find them-- suet, lard,
    >> goose fat, mutton, turkey. . . .
    >>
    >> And while we're thinking, can we speculate on what the Greeks used for
    >> shortening, too?
    >>
    >> Jim

    >
    >Are you sure the missing mystery flavor you're seeking comes from the
    >fat? I know that my grandmother's baked recipes often contained a little
    >wine or liquor.


    Not *sure* - but my very unreliable memory remembers me asking her
    what that flavor was & she said it was some hard to find fat or
    shortening.

    The Greek heritage just came to me today- it might be a figment of my
    imagination. But now I'm wondering if she would have been able to
    find good olive oil out in the sticks in the 70's. The texture, as
    I remember it, was a lot like a quiche crust I make with canola oil
    for shortening. Just melts in your mouth.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Tom Del Rosso" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    >>God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    >>These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    >>great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    >>it. Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs
    >>Costa didn't use that. Which recipe is authentic?


    You can bet your bippee that in olden tymes dago nanas used lard...
    there was no hydrogenated vegetable shortening back then.

    >And while we're thinking, can we speculate on what the Greeks used.


    K-Y


  8. #8
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Tom Del Rosso wrote:

    > When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs
    > Costa, God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before
    > Christmas. These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard,
    > and they were just great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I
    > never learned anything about it. Googling for recipes I see some
    > that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs Costa didn't use that. Which
    > recipe is authentic?


    From your description, they seem to be frollini, made with pasta frolla. Try
    googling for that, it's a very butter-ish dough which you have to work just
    the minimum to get it smooth and nothing more, otherwise it will become
    hard.
    One example:
    350 gr butter
    220 gr "veil sugar"*
    2 eggs
    500 gr all purpose flour
    a pinch of salt
    a packet of vanillin**

    * veil sugar: in italian "zucchero a velo": it's the powderized version of
    normal sugar.
    ** don't remember how much vanillin is in one packet, but it should be under
    1 gram IIRC.

    Beat the butter with the sugar and then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix
    them in well. When the mass if quite foamy, slowly add the flour. Put the
    resulting dough in a sac-a-poche and squeeze it out on a baking sheet in "s"
    shape, or stick, or star or whatever shape you want.
    --
    ViLco
    Let the liquor do the thinking




  9. #9
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies


    "ViLco" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    > Tom Del Rosso wrote:
    >
    >> When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs
    >> Costa, God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before>>
    >> Christmas.

    >
    > From your description, they seem to be frollini, made with pasta frolla.
    > Try googling for that, it's a very butter-ish dough which you have to work
    > just the minimum to get it smooth and nothing more, otherwise it will
    > become hard.
    > One example:
    > 350 gr butter
    > 220 gr "veil sugar"*
    > 2 eggs
    > 500 gr all purpose flour
    > a pinch of salt
    > a packet of vanillin**
    >
    > * veil sugar: in italian "zucchero a velo": it's the powderized version of
    > normal sugar.
    > ** don't remember how much vanillin is in one packet, but it should be
    > under 1 gram IIRC.


    "vanillin" powder I have not seen in US markets, so the best thing is to
    make the powdered sugar into vanilla sugar so you don't have to add liquid.
    You will miss the slight bitterness of vanillin, but the texture will remain
    the same.

    I thought maybe he meant krumerein (sp) which seem to be very popular here,
    but I haven't thought were Italian.



  10. #10
    Boron Elgar Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    On Wed, 8 Dec 2010 15:24:17 -0500, "Tom Del Rosso"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street - Mrs Costa,
    >God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies before Christmas.
    >These had an very crumbly texture, but were not too hard, and they were just
    >great. Nobody in my family ever made them so I never learned anything about
    >it. Googling for recipes I see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs
    >Costa didn't use that. Which recipe is authentic?


    Mary Ann Esposito has a recipe for S Cookies on her web pages, and by
    golly, they use Crisco. These look quite similar to cookies offered by
    Italian bakeries here in Northern NJ, so it is Italian-American
    authenticity only.

    This is strictly a cut-and-paste, but I verified it by having a 94
    year old Brooklyn resident (born in Italy) look it over and nod
    agreeingly.

    http://www.ciaoitalia.com/seasons/5/502/s-cookies

    MAKES ABOUT 3 1/2 DOZEN

    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.
    INGREDIENTS

    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
    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 350F. 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 inches
    apart, 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 to
    cooling racks.

    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.

  11. #11
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Giusi wrote:

    > "vanillin" powder I have not seen in US markets, so the best thing is
    > to make the powdered sugar into vanilla sugar so you don't have to
    > add liquid. You will miss the slight bitterness of vanillin, but the
    > texture will remain the same.
    >
    > I thought maybe he meant krumerein (sp) which seem to be very popular
    > here, but I haven't thought were Italian.


    Ah, krumiri! Nice ones, and they're similar to frollini.
    --
    ViLco
    Let the liquor do the thinking




  12. #12
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies


    "ViLco" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    news:idqit3$hjf$[email protected]..
    > Giusi wrote:
    >
    >> "vanillin" powder I have not seen in US markets, so the best thing is
    >> to make the powdered sugar into vanilla sugar so you don't have to
    >> add liquid. You will miss the slight bitterness of vanillin, but the
    >> texture will remain the same.
    >>
    >> I thought maybe he meant krumerein (sp) which seem to be very popular
    >> here, but I haven't thought were Italian.

    >
    > Ah, krumiri! Nice ones, and they're similar to frollini.


    But are they not Austrian or German or even Slovenian?



  13. #13
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    Giusi wrote:

    >>> I thought maybe he meant krumerein (sp) which seem to be very
    >>> popular here, but I haven't thought were Italian.


    >> Ah, krumiri! Nice ones, and they're similar to frollini.


    > But are they not Austrian or German or even Slovenian?


    From what I remember, and after a quick google search, their origin is in
    Piedmont in XIX century, and theyr shape should be a tribute to the king's
    moustaches. Many renowned producers like Rossi (the best and most authentic)
    and Bistefani are from Piedmont, too.
    But then, you know, food is a strange beast when it's time to determine the
    origins of a given recipe.
    The original recipe uses mais flour, I didn't remember that.

    A bit of history, in english:

    The story of krumiri, tipycal pidemontese sweet dish (how would you
    translate "dolce", Giusi?), goes back to 1870 when the confectioner Domenico
    Rossi decides to make his cafe' friends try his newly invented biscotti.
    The official date of the creation of these typical biscotti from Casale
    Monferrato (Asti) is anyway marked to 1878, the same year of the death of
    the first king of Italy. Story tells that the shape of the krumiri was a
    tribute to the famous king's moustaches.
    In 1884 Domenico Rossi attends, with his already famous biscotti, to the
    Universal Expo in Turin and, between 1886 and 1891, gets the title of
    Provveditore for the houses of the Dukes of Aosta, Genova and the royal
    italian house.
    --
    ViLco
    Let the liquor do the thinking




  14. #14
    Tom Del Rosso Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies


    gloria.p wrote:
    >
    > Were they shortbread? Spritz?
    > Almond, anise, or lemon flavored?


    Not any flavor like that. It probably was the kind of flavor that would
    come from the fat. The nearest match in flavor would be a butter cookie,
    but stronger.

    These also had a very coarse texture. The tops had sort of little spikes
    poking out. The common cookie with the nearest match in texture would be
    Stella D'oro Margeritas, but coarser, and a little less dry.


    --

    Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
    zero, and remove the last word.



  15. #15
    Tom Del Rosso Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies


    ViLco wrote:
    > Tom Del Rosso wrote:
    >
    > > When I was very young there was a woman who lived up the street -
    > > Mrs Costa, God bless her - who brought us a big bag of S cookies
    > > before Christmas. These had an very crumbly texture, but were not
    > > too hard, and they were just great. Nobody in my family ever made
    > > them so I never learned anything about it. Googling for recipes I
    > > see some that call for Crisco, but I'm sure Mrs Costa didn't use
    > > that. Which recipe is authentic?

    >
    > From your description, they seem to be frollini, made with pasta
    > frolla. Try googling for that, it's a very butter-ish dough which you
    > have to work just the minimum to get it smooth and nothing more,
    > otherwise it will become hard.
    > One example:
    > 350 gr butter
    > 220 gr "veil sugar"*
    > 2 eggs
    > 500 gr all purpose flour
    > a pinch of salt
    > a packet of vanillin**
    >
    > * veil sugar: in italian "zucchero a velo": it's the powderized
    > version of normal sugar.
    > ** don't remember how much vanillin is in one packet, but it should
    > be under 1 gram IIRC.
    >
    > Beat the butter with the sugar and then add the eggs, one at a time,
    > and mix them in well. When the mass if quite foamy, slowly add the
    > flour. Put the resulting dough in a sac-a-poche and squeeze it out on
    > a baking sheet in "s" shape, or stick, or star or whatever shape you
    > want.


    Thanks a lot. This is worth a try even if it isn't the same.


    --

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  16. #16
    Tom Del Rosso Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies


    Boron Elgar wrote:
    >
    > Mary Ann Esposito has a recipe for S Cookies on her web pages, and by
    > golly, they use Crisco. These look quite similar to cookies offered by
    > Italian bakeries here in Northern NJ, so it is Italian-American
    > authenticity only.


    I see. But she also says that lard is the real thing. Maybe that's the
    key.


    > This is strictly a cut-and-paste, but I verified it by having a 94
    > year old Brooklyn resident (born in Italy) look it over and nod
    > agreeingly.


    That's the best provenance next to finding Mrs Costa's daughter. Thanks.


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    zero, and remove the last word.



  17. #17
    Boron Elgar Guest

    Default Re: Italian S cookies

    On Thu, 9 Dec 2010 22:13:13 -0500, "Tom Del Rosso"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >gloria.p wrote:
    >>
    >> Were they shortbread? Spritz?
    >> Almond, anise, or lemon flavored?

    >
    >Not any flavor like that. It probably was the kind of flavor that would
    >come from the fat. The nearest match in flavor would be a butter cookie,
    >but stronger.
    >
    >These also had a very coarse texture. The tops had sort of little spikes
    >poking out. The common cookie with the nearest match in texture would be
    >Stella D'oro Margeritas, but coarser, and a little less dry.


    The texture and "spikes," or maybe ridges, come from the way the
    cookie is formed, and again, is consistent with local NJ Italian
    bakeries.

    The cookies are made from a soft dough and shaped by a press/bag with
    a large tip, often a "star" tip.

    Boron

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