Cookie Monster: Fiori di Sicilia Cookies

Carrie Vasios Mullins

For me, perusing baking and cooking catalogues falls under the category of things I like to do when my brain hurts too much to do anything else. Flipping through, giving myself no harder questions than, "hmm, how much would I actually use this castle-shaped bundt pan?", is a source of pure relaxation. Admittedly, these catalogues are the world of one-hit wonders (lemon juice powder, anyone?), so I usually don't buy anything.

But sometimes, yes sometimes, I do.

This time I was drawn in by the word panettone, which my eyes find on a cluttered page like an owl spots a mouse in a grassy field. Italians use it to scent their panettone and pandoro read the full description, launching me towards my computer to buy it.

Though I love panettone, it feels wrong to eat it outside of Christmastime. Having panettone flavor in a bottle may sound unappealing to some of you, but to me, it's a glorious solution to my yearly panettone withdrawal. It might be better to put it this way—would you like to flavor your sweets with a vanilla scented, mixed citrus extract? Yes, I think you would.

My first project with the new extract was to pair it with a ricotta cookie, and the results were stellar. The crumb is pillowy and soft, and each bite resembles a little panettonne-flavored cake. The cookies aren't overly floral or sweet, and the mixed citrus flavor gives them a delectable flavor that I'll be enjoying year round.

Note: Fiori di Sicilia is available online at King Arthur Flour.