A decade of Kramereses was celebrated in the best way possible this weekend by a meal at Blanca in our very own neighborhood. You can read about the restaurant here and here, but I’ll give you my thoughts, too. All in all, it was fabulous. I’m not someone who spends insane amounts of money on meals very often. Kramer and I treat ourselves to somewhere fancy once a year, and we chose well with Blanca this year. Last year we did Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which was a different experience entirely, so this year we were excited to finally check out Blanca. We go to Roberta’s all the time, and we often saw people being led back to the mysterious 12-seat dining room/kitchen, but the price point wasn’t really something we could stomach. However, after cashing in our very real change jar, counting up the cash and going back and forth with the “should we, shouldn’t we” nonsense, we just pulled the trigger and made a reservation. How often do you get to toast to being together for 10 years, right? Why not just go all out? So we did, and it was quite the meal, indeed. I think we went at the right time, too. It’s the tail end of peak tomato season, and all of the final crops for summer are making their way into kitchens across the country as people scurry to cook with the year’s bounty before winter sets in and we’re all eating potatoes and red meat. The food that we had at Blanca was light, for the most part, which is what you want with a 22-course dinner. It had lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a touch of honey here or a bit of almond there, as well as really beautiful seafood dishes (which Chef Mirarchi was kind enough to bestow upon us as we left – a filet of fluke!). There were some touches of red meat, of course – buttery Wagyu beef, perfectly cooked lamb and crispy duck breast – all lovely and perfectly portioned. Upon leaving, not only did we receive a couple of bags of granola for the next morning, but a cute little card wishing us a happy anniversary. It was, indeed. And full as we were, we may or may not have grabbed a morning bun and a bialy from the Roberta’s bakery on our way out because I don’t think either of us wanted to admit that the night was actually coming to an end!
Goodie bags and cute notes from Blanca, Wagyu beef with gem lettuce and kaffir lime, radishes with cheese and tomatillo and the next morning’s granola.
So, anniversary properly celebrated, the rest of the weekend kind of revolved around waiting to eat at Blanca and waking up the next morning still full from doing just that. On Friday night, I met up with a few friends for an after work cocktail (including Sylvie from Roaming Taste), followed by dinner with more friends at Zona Rosa in Williamsburg. After dinner, we wished a happy birthday to a friend celebrating at one bar, then headed to Noormans Kil to finish the night off. Despite all of the hopping around, I managed to take it easy in anticipation of the following night. On Saturday, I basically did nothing while Kramer worked on his homework, then we went to see our friend Emily and Wesley’s amazing new apartment before our epic meal at Blanca. On Sunday morning, we both slept in, then I went for a walk to get odds and ends from both the Bedford Cheese Shop and the Brooklyn Kitchen while Kramer did more homework. It was an absolutely beautiful day – one of those first days of fall kind of days where you remember how much you enjoy actually walking and moving around outside instead of just drinking cold white wine somewhere shady. I picked up a stupid amount of charcuterie, cheese, plates, bread and whatever else I could get my hands on, stopping only when I decided I wouldn’t be able to carry much more back home. We noshed on this and that before meeting our friend Danny for a quick game of Pandemic (and quick it was – we lost big time), then watched a bit of Lost in preparation for trivia night next week. I’ll admit, I’m ready for a bit of a detox this week. But not before one last Roberta’s dinner tonight! I’m a woman possessed.
Having said that, eating a bunch of fancy food makes me feel kind of guilty, to be honest. It’s not about the calories – it’s about how lucky and privileged I am to be able to go to restaurants and live in New York and all of that. Not to brush over my feels on the subject (that’s for another day entirely), but the bottom line is that I want to share a simple recipe today. These cookies were something I originally baked almost six years ago, when Kramer and I were still living in Mesa, Arizona. I wanted to make them again for the OXO Good Cookie campaign, which is to an awesome program dedicated to raising both funds and awareness for children with cancer. You can buy cookies, buy qualifying OXO products or host your own bake sale to get involved! For every stickered Cookies for Kids’ Cancer item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For example, my favorite baking tool, the medium cookie scoop from OXO, is one of these products – it’s how I get such uniform cookies! Learn more here and have a cookie for a great cause. These are crispy, buttery, lovely little sugar cookies, so buttery in fact that they’re almost shortbread, and I love them. The exterior is perfectly crunchy, but all that butter means they immediately melt in your mouth. I like to roll these in raw sugar for extra texture, but granulated will work just fine, too. My friend Kim said that she made these for a Fourth of July party earlier this summer and enjoyed them just as much as me, so I can report with full confidence that these are awesome cookies. It’s almost dizzying to think that holiday baking season is just a couple of short months away, but that’s the truth, so if you’re not ready to turn the oven on quite yet, just remember to bookmark this recipe for when the time comes, and don’t forget to check out Cookies for Kids!
Rub the sugar and lemon zest together for lots of lemony goodness. The oils infuse themselves into the sugar!
Add in plenty of butter.
Bring your dough together.
Roll the balls of dough in your sugar and bake!
Somebody took a bite out of this cookie.
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1½ teaspoons lemon extract (or juice of 1 lemon)
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup raw sugar, for rolling cookies (granulated works, too)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Combine your 1½ cups of granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of your mixer, and rub together with your hands until the sugar is a pale yellow color. This infuses the sugar with the oils from the zest and makes for an extra lemony cookie.
- Add the butter to the sugar, and beat together until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the egg, beat until combined, the add in the lemon extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl, then add it to the sugar mixture and mix until just moistened. Place ½ cup of raw or granulated sugar in a bowl, then roll balls of dough (about the size of heaping tablespoons) in the sugar. Place the cookies on your baking sheets a couple of inches apart, and press down lightly with the palm of your hand (see: lightly). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and slightly golden (but not browned). Allow to cool before moving to another surface. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.