http://www.coffeebreak2day.com/images/egg-biscuits.jpg" alt="egg biscuits with coffee wash" title="egg biscuits with coffee wash" align="left" border="0" height="252" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="280" /> When I was growing up, my grandmother's pantry always held two boxes of cookies. One was the Nabisco Hostess Assortment, which she brought out and put on a plate whenever a neighbor came by for coffee. The other was a package of Stella D'Oro egg biscuits, which she had with her own coffee every morning. We used to call them S-cookies because they were shaped like a big S. They're the perfect texture to go with coffee -- better for dunking than a donut. They soak up the coffee without crumbling off into your cup -- and without getting soggy. You can actually suck the coffee out of the cookie, and then eat the biscuit. I know what you're thinking -- how childish! Hey, I still drink the milk in my cereal bowl, too. And don't knock it till you've tried it.
For decades, Stella D'Oro egg biscuits were a Northeast phenomenon. They were made in a bakery up in the Bronx. The company was an American dream success story, starting as a small bakery run by an Italian immigrant and his wife -- also an Italian immigrant -- who met working in a bakery in NYC. Over the course of more than 40 years, they built the business into a national brand but the bakery remained a family tradition -- and the cookies remained a tradition at my breakfast table. Then the company was acquired by Nabisco, and Nabisco became a pawn in one of the most famous leveraged buyouts in history, and Stella D'Oro -- and the people who had worked there for decades -- got bounced around from one holding company to another, and, eventually, became a victim of -- well, let's leave my politics out of this. Let's just say that since Stella D'Oro cookies are no longer made by the people who built that business, I can't stomach them at my kitchen table.
So, two years ago, I stopped buying Stella D'Oro egg biscuits forever -- and developed this recipe to make my own. it's not as easy as tearing open a package of cookies, but they are delicious -- and perfect for dipping in your coffee.
Egg Biscuits with Coffee Wash
- 5 c. flour
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
- 6 lg. eggs
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. cooking oil
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. anise flavoring
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tblsp brewed espresso
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 large mixing bowls
- cookie sheet
- small mixing bowl
- pastry brush
Mix the Dough
Sift the dry ingredients twice into a large mixing bowl. Put the bowl aside.
Cream the sugar and oil together, then add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Continue beating until the egg/oil mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and anise, and beat for another minute.
Add in the dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring them in with a wooden spoon until it is to thick to stir easily. Switch to your hands, and knead in the rest of the flour and ingredients to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured table and knead it lightly until the dough is smooth but still soft. Put the dough into the bowl, cover it and refrigerate it for one hour.
Shape the Cookies
Divide the dough into 4 or 6 pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into a long snake about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut each snake into 2-inch long pieces. Lightly twist each piece into an S-shape and place it on a greased and floured cookie sheet.
Make the Egg Wash
In a small mixing bowl, add two tablespoons of brewed espresso to 2 egg yolks. Beat well with a fork.
Paint the top of each egg biscuit with the coffee egg wash, then sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove immediately from the oven. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheets for about 10 minutes, then remove them to racks to finish cooling.
The recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. Store them in a covered container -- if you have any leftovers. They never last that long around here.