Every family has their favorite holiday recipes, passed down through the generations. In my family, one of them is the Swedish S cookie. When I was a small child, I thought that every family had a cookie made into the letter of their last name, because we Sutters had the Swedish S cookie. S would be for Sutter, right?
“Swedish S’s” as we call them are a melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie. I’ve heard them called Spritz cookies when they’re not shaped as an S. Every Christmas, the Swedish S cookies were a staple. My mother would make a couple batches (each batch makes about 170 cookies!), using the cookie gun that had been used by my paternal grandmother, Rubye Ekstrom Sutter.
Now I make them every Christmas using the hand-written recipe from my mother and that same cookie gun. My Rochester, N.Y., family and friends love the Swedish S’s, too. My grandmother was Swedish and I assume this is her family’s recipe.
Here’s the recipe for Swedish S’s:
1 lb. butter (as my mother says, “Be sure to use real butter!”), just soft enough for mixing, not melted.
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 rounding tsp. baking powder (be sure baking powder is not outdated)
Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer. Add eggs and flavoring, and mix. Mix baking powder into flour, and add flour slowly to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Chill dough for about 10 minutes in refrigerator. Put dough through cookie press and form cookies on parchment paper-covered baking sheets.
Bake in oven that’s been pre-heated to 375 degrees. Bake until cookies are lightly brown on top, about 8 minutes.
My grandmother, Rubye, died in 1964 on her 60th birthday. I was only 5 years old. But her legacy lives on in so many ways, especially these cookies. I think she would get a kick out of that!
I’d love to hear about your family’s cookie baking traditions.