During the last year, the patio at my house has been my saving grace. I have room to space more than six feet apart, so family and a small pod of friends have visited for food I have prepared, takeout from local restaurants, but above all, cocktails. We’ve even had local bartenders provide delivery cocktails on occasion. Mind you, we haven’t gone overboard and more often than not it is a can or bottle of something brought in a cooler or koozie. And I see this trend continuing well into the summer, even as we get our shots. Which brings me to one of my favorite outdoor cocktails, the Aperol Spritz – Aperol aperitivo (2 parts), prosecco (3 parts) and a splash of soda over ice with a slice of orange. No too long ago, there was a little online controversy about the trendiness of the drink, with the New York Times being a bit snarky about more sophisticated and lesser known Italian spritzes. But I and millions of Twitter followers disagree. The Aperol Spritz is a refreshingly bright and fizzy and refreshing. And in these days when travel seems like a distant dream, it reminds me of a family trip to Italy, sitting canal side in Venice watching the gondolas bob and the slick speedboats whir by.
Which brings us to this cookie. I had a bottle of Aperol on the counter, waiting to be spritzed, and I was struck with inspiration to create a sweet little cookie featuring the fun flavors of the classic cocktail. Sure, it’s a little silly, but we can all use that in our lives right now. The prosecco-rich sugar cookie has that lovely sparkling tang and the simple Aperol glaze adds a sweetbitter hit and a lovely coral tint. Altogether this is a thoroughly delightful treat.
Aperol Spritz Sugar Cookies
1 ½ cups prosecco or sparkling wine (2 (187ml) bottles)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cups granulated sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ – 1/3 cup Aperol
- Pour the prosecco into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until reduced to ¼ cup. Cool completely.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for a few seconds to break up. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg yolk until combined. Add the flour ½ cup at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, scraping down the bowl. Beat in the salt. Drizzle in the reduced prosecco and beat until completely combined, scraping down the side of the bowl.
- Lay a sheet of waxed paper on the counter and transfer the dough to it. Form the dough into a log, then write tightly into a log, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper. Refrogerate ofr severl hours or until firm, but the dough can be prepared up to two days in advance.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into cookies ¼ inch thick and place an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 -14 minutes until firm and lightly browned. Let cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely. Place the wire rack over a piece of waxed or parchment paper to catch any drips of glaze.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl, and drizzle in the Aperol a Tablespoon at a time, whisking well, until you have a thick, but loose, drippable glaze – so this method of frosting works. When the cookies are completely cool, dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and agitate to cover the surface, pull up and let any excess glaze drip off. Swirl the cookie as you turn it over and put it on the rack to firm up. This dip method helps create that smooth, lovely finish and a nice layer of glaze that doesn’t just drip right off the sides. Leave to set. The frosted cookies will keep in an airtight container for two days.
- To keep the roll of cookie dough nice and round, cut an empty paper towel roll tube lengthwise and place the wrapped dough into like a cradle and store in the fridge. I keep an open paper towel tube around to use for all my rolled dough recipes.