Those that have tip-toed out of their bubble have plenty of tales to tell, and this one is about a little (Italian) cookie. Click to skip to the recipe
Those of us that have tip-toed out of our bubble to enjoy a restaurant meal have plenty of tales to tell.
Mine is about a lovely restaurant in Tequesta called EVO. Chef Erik Pettersen has a stellar reputation that reaches beyond our quiet community. He specializes in authentic Italian fare just like his mother Nancy envisioned. The restaurant has won awards noting the transition from her local farm-to-table dinner fare to the “EVOlution” of Chef Erik’s fine dining.
Let’s just say it’s a real treat.
Like many restaurants, EVO has adapted to the current situation by spacing indoor tables and adapting outdoor space to accommodate as many safely-distanced tables as possible. The dinner we shared with two other (bubble) friends was simply delish!
But what impressed me most came after the main meal.
Here’s the deal: When I finally get to a lovely restaurant, I ABSOLUTELY chow down on everything put in front of me.
The olives, the shavings of Parmesan cheese; the fresh, warm bread dipped into a saucer of olive oil with EVO written in balsamic vinegar. Yes, written in balsamic vinegar!
And then, not yet full, and still excited to be OUT, I order. I order a copious amount of food and swallow each bite with a fair amount of delicious wine.
By the time I finish the last bite from the plate, I feel pretty darn good. Dessert menus are offered, and we all decline (Gluttony is for closets, not outdoor dining tables, after all).
Then, the waitress brings out two small plates of Italian cookies. These teeny, little buttery bites are just sitting there…on the table…in front of me. Well, who can resist? Certainly, not me!
In an attempt to tamper down my desire for restaurant dining, I decided to bake these cookies at home, hoping that if I had them at my fingertips, then I wouldn’t feel the need to make dining reservations.
Well, that didn’t work. I have a reservation at EVO tomorrow night. 😉
But these home-baked cookies are fun to make, fun to dip in chocolate, and fun to dust with sprinkles. Just a great little bite!
Italian Butter Cookies
Serves: Makes about three dozen 2-inch cookies
Time: 30 minutes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 2 sticks
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the machine and add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix in the sugar on low speed working up to medium speed. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Stop the machine and then add the flour, stirring it in a little bit at a time.
Spoon about a third of the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in about 2-inch lengths about 2-inches apart. Continue until all the cookies are on the baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are just beginning to turn golden on the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool the cookies on a rack.
Place the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate using 30 second intervals until soft and smooth. Dip the ends of the cookies into the chocolate and dust with your favorite sprinkles.
For true Italian butter cookies, you can use the star tip to pipe. But for fun, you can use other tips to create your favorite shapes. If you’re in a hurry, use an ice cream scoop to mound cookies onto the baking sheet and flatten to form circles.