Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberries and cream… and pine nuts

I know why strawberry shortcake is served in the summer, and it has nothing to do with strawberries being in season. It's just because it's the lightest, sweetest dessert that's perfect for a summer night.

Bennie and I had a nice dinner at Sapporo East, the whole time remarking on the importance of getting in shape and eating healthy and feeling good about our bodies. But he was hell-bent on dessert, and I'm pretty easily persuaded.

So after dinner, we dashed across the street to Tarallucci e Vino. Inside the display case of insane pastries (and gelato), one in particular stood out, looking like a Twinkie on steroids.

This ladyfinger cake is all golden brown on the outside. Inside is whipped cream and sliced strawberries. A pocket of delight.

But it had nothing on the pignolli cookie.

Ben insisted on getting this cookie, which, to me, looked like a dry, boring Italian cookie (another case of looks being deceiving). But it's made with marzipan. I was shocked. One bite, and I realized I have a new favorite sweet. The light chewiness, combined with the earthy pine nuts, dusted gently with confectioner's sugar… everything in this world should be so good.

163 First Avenue at 10th