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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chipmunks among us...

See these cheeks? Look exactly like my pockets...just jammed full with cards, phone numbers, flyers. Oh my…if only I could pool them all and open up a lifestyle store!!

Behind every piece of help I have stuffed in my pockets, I have gotten an equal amount just talking with the store owners and staff. So engaged and so excited about sharing what they know. has been amazing. Most of the great places I have dropped in on walks have led me to another. The concept of neighborhood is remarkable. “Oh, I don’t have that but I know someone who does…here is the phone number. Need directions?” Again…a perfect fit for my Share Our Strengths philosophy.

I am also in awe of the many, many instances where I have ended up in a store that only deals in cash and what happens next. Who knew? It happened with Sue and her dry cleaning store, with the shoe repair store, the coffee shop and again this morning. I walked to the bodega on the corner. Their debit card machine was down. The owner smiled reassuringly, packed up my goodies, handed them to me and said, “Just drop by whenever you can and pay me then.” Astounding. I had only been in that store one other time.

A couple of weeks ago, a study came out on longevity and New Yorkers are found to live on average two years longer than the rest of us. I think this somewhat surprising sense of neighborliness contributes to that statistic. Also, all the walking, of course. Rarely is there an overweight person. Even with the astoundingly de-lish bread and baked goods here. My these folks can bake.

Yesterday we had to go back to the hospital for a bit and to sweeten the trip, dropped by for a delectable cookie. Amazing what problem solvers really good cookies are! Here is a gorgeous picture and the recipe for One Girl Cookies' wonderful orange coconut drop cookies...just in case someone in your neighborhood drops on by.

Orange Butter Drops with Shredded Coconut (OGC)

3/4 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of one orange
2 ½ cups AP flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh oj
1 cup 4x sugar
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Put granulated sugar and orange zest in a medium bowl. Using both hands, rub the sugar into the orange zest. Put the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and add flour and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the pieces of butter. When the mixture begins to look like crumbs, add the vanilla. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese. When the dough starts to clump together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead it by hand for a few seconds until it is fully combined.

Scoop out a small round of dough, about 1 ½ tablespoons in size. Roll the scoop onto a ball. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and gently press the ball. Repeat. leaving 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool on a rack.

Prepare the glaze: In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon cream cheese, the oj and confectioner’s sugar.. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 more minutes. Glaze should be as thick as glue!! Spread coconut on plate. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, dip into the shredded coconut, and let set for 20 minutes. Makes 36.

Look...there is even a "namesake" cookie!!

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