Les Navettes de Saint Victor (Shuttle Cookies)

  • Serves

    makes 16 cookies


These boat-shaped, orange-blossom-scented sugar cookies, named after an unmanned boat bearing a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary that arrived in Marseille during the 13th century, are a signature Marseillais treat.


  • 34 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. orange blossom water
  • 18 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Using an electric hand mixer, beat sugar, butter, orange blossom water, salt, and eggs until fluffy, 1–2 minutes. With the motor running, slowly add flour until a stiff dough forms. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide dough into sixteen 1¾-oz. pieces.

Step 2

Working with one piece dough at a time, and using hands, roll dough into a 6″ log about ½″ thick.

Step 3

Flatten the ends of the dough.

Step 4

Transfer log to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using a knife, cut a ¼″-deep slit lengthwise in top of log beginning and ending about ¼″ from each end.

Step 5

Using fingers, splay dough open slightly. Bake until pale golden and slightly crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before serving.