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Little Bites of Summer

Little Bites of Summer

Friends, it’s almost winter. It may still be 60 but the past few days have seen a chill peeking around the corner, New Yorkers pulling coats tighter, hastening our pace.

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It’s that time of year when we all get a little colder and a little busier and a little more stressed. Daylight shortens, term papers accumulate, the holidays creep up with 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 in long, darkening days.

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Go to the garden (or the grocery) and harvest (collect) what’s left of the fresh herbs. Chop up any medley 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 cheery citrus and I promise you’ll be tasting herbs and sun if you whip these out come February.

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

Herby Italian Cookies 

Adapted 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, to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one grapefruit. Grate the 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  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, or set balls of dough aside to freeze (if layering in a container, use parchment paper between the layers).
  7. Prepare the glaze by whisking together sugar and half and half (adding sugar in increments again). Whisk in grapefruit juice, adding to taste. 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 the bright rind. Eat many and be happy.

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