David attended Harvard summer school after his junior year of high school and applied to Harvard for college. He didn’t get in. Because of the disappointment, he had a hard time deciding where to go, but in the end, he chose UC Davis—a perfect place, as it turned out, for him to do his undergraduate studies. He applied to Harvard again for graduate school and this time was accepted. That was 7 ½ years ago.
Last week, Larry and I attended David’s thesis defense for his PhD. I sat in the audience as he presented his research, listening to every word with bated breath, lump in my throat, tears in my eyes—not just because of the greatness of his accomplishment, but also because of the sweetness of bearing witness to a 20-year-old dream come true. Afterwards, his professor popped bottles of Veuve Clicquot and I passed around platters filled with copious quantities of homemade (gluten-free) cookies I had brought from California.
Mimi cookies but I also made brownies, lemon bars, biscotti, and ricciarellis. Because of David’s celiac disease, I substituted gluten free flour mix (Pamela’s) for the flour called for in the recipes. They all turned out delicious and nobody could tell that they were missing the wheat.
You can find the gluten-free lemon bar recipe here and my favorite brownie recipe here. My sister-in-law, Celeste, recommended my making the ricciarellis—Sienese almond cookies. For those of you unfamiliar with them, as I was, these are the most amazing cookies EVER—perfectly light and chewy and easy to make. I doubled the recipe.
(From Divina Cucina)
2 cups blanched ground almonds or prepared almond “flour” (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups powdered sugar
3 drops almond extract
Extra powdered sugar for rolling in
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff and mix into the almond mixture. Add the almond extract and blend until you have a soft paste.
And next week… a biscotti tutorial! Another easy and fabulous treat for a special day.