Limonata Cocktail

This is my version of a lemon martini they serve at The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons in Boston.

  • 1 shot Grey Goose Citron Vodka (colder is better)
  • 1 shot Limoncello lemon liquer (ditto)
  • 1 shot fresh-squeezed lemon juice (sometimes I add a little lime juice)

Put it all in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice, shake vigorously for 30 seconds and then pour into a chilled martini glass with or without a sugared rim (run lemon around the rim of the glass, then dip it in superfine sugar; refrigerate).  Top off with Limonata sparkling lemon soda (found in the Italian foods section of  many supermarkets).  If Limonata is unavailable you can use simple syrup.

Salted Shortbread Cookies

It all began with a recipe from the New York Times that recommended salt on top of chocolate chip cookies.  They are divine.  So when I first made these cookies I felt the needed something so I frosted them with confectioner’s icing.  They were good, but still not right.  The next time I dipped them in chocolate.  Also good, but this time I thought of the Time’s cookies and thought – all that butter and sugar needs a counterpoint. You can make these cookies any of these ways, but I think the salted version is tasty and unique.

Doubles easily.

  • ¾ lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 T. coarse sea salt
  • More sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl sift the flour and the ½ teaspoon of salt.

In an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cup of sugar and mix until they are just combined.  Add the vanilla and then the flour mixture until just combined, the remove to a floured surface and shape into a ball.  Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.   If you chill it much longer than that you will need to let it warm up slightly on the counter so that it will roll out evenly.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters (simple shapes like hearts and circles work best with this dough).

Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle each one with a little pinch of the sea salt and, if desired, some plain or decorative sugar. If you have the time and the room, chill them for 10 minutes before putting them in the oven.  This step helps them hold the edges of the shape a little better, but it’s not imperative.

Bake for 12-16 minutes, until they are brown at the edges.  Leave in the pan for a minute or so and then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Some people like their shortbread very brown, others prefer them light and crumbly – you decide.

Store in an airtight container; they freeze well.