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Little Bites of Summer

Little Bites of Summer

Friends – it’s almost winter. Still 60 in New York, but in the past few days a chill is peeking around the corner, pulling coats tighter, hastening our pace.

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It’s almost winter and it’s that time of the year. We get a little colder and a little busier and a little more stressed. Daylight hours are shorter, term papers are starting to pile, the holidays creeping up in all their wonderful anxieties.

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So today I gift this to you, a little bite of summer. Tiny, flaky Italian cookies; scrumptious morsels to be eaten with tea and friends and long, darkening days.

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Go to your garden and harvest what’s left. Chop up any medley of herbs on hand – sage, rosemary, tarragon, thyme – it’s all fair game. Bake pan after pan. Eat many now, and freeze little balls of dough for later – to be pulled out in the cold months to come. Glaze them with a cheery, citrus glaze and I promise you’ll be tasting herbs and sun if you whip these out sometime around February.

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To embracing the changing seasons (and hanging on to little bites).

Herby Italian Cookies 

Recipe from Cooking and Beer

 3/4C unsalted butter

1/4C vegetable shortening

3 1/4 C AP flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

3/4C granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

At least 3 tablespoons chopped herbs (more as desired)

Citrus Glaze

2 1/2C confectioner’s sugar

2 Tablespoons half and half

1/2C fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

Grated grapefruit rind

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Squeeze the juice out of one grapefruit. Grate rind and set aside.
  3. Melt together the butter and shortening on your stovetop. Let the mixture cool while whisking together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt).
  4. Pour cooled (or slightly cooled) butter and shortening into a large bowl. Add sugar in increments, beating with a fork or electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in grapefruit juice.
  5. Add dry ingredients in increments to the mixing bowl. Mix with a spoon until a dough starts to form. Add more flour as needed.
  6. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Space them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 7-8 minutes. (Set some aside if desired, these little balls of dough freeze incredibly well and will taste really yummy in the herb-deficient months to come).
  7. Prepare the glaze by whisking together sugar and half and half (adding sugar in increments). Whisk in grapefruit juice (tasting to adjust as desired). Make sure the glaze retains some body, you won’t want it to be dripping off your cookies.
  8. When cookies have cooled, dip the tops in the glaze. Garnish with pinches of grapefruit rind. Eat many and be happy.

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