Small Pleasures by Teri Hiben

As I reflect on some recent things that bring a smile to my face, I’ve noticed they are often the little, more commonplace happenings that really are extra-ordinary: a one year old in her early, self-confident walking, a handwritten note of thanks for something I’ve long forgotten, a five minute conversation meant to encourage, even only one day of sunshine after many gray days can bring on that smile.  Those small gestures and simple everyday sights end up giving me pleasure, enthusiasm, and energy.  They add up to having a big impact.

Lately as I’ve brought a treat for a gathering or a dinner, I’ve played on this idea with desserts.  A slice from a small bundt pan, a mini muffin or cupcake, a small cookie is just the right amount – a great treat to savor, nothing more yet nothing less.  Watching a child light up with joy at seeing a 6” layer cake rather that the more common 9” cake brings life to the saying that good things come in small packages. And remember, if they are small, maybe you can enjoy two!

Below is a recipe I’ve used for years from Martha Stewart.  They are Biscotti Bites with just a touch of grapefruit zest and formed with a mini scoop.  One small bite of goodness, a little something.  Try them.  Small efforts, like small changes, can make a big difference.


Biscotti Bites
  1. 1 ¼ cup flour
  2. 1 ¼ cup fine cornmeal
  3. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  5. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  9. 2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest (from 2 small grapefruits)
  10. 11 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided
  11. Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Beat butter with a mixer on med. speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Then beat in coconut, zest and 5 ounces chocolate until evenly distributed.
  2. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough, spaced 1” apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 18-20 minutes. (longer if you use larger scoop). Let cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  4. Melt remaining 6 ounces chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Dip bottoms of cooled cookies in melted chocolate, scrape off excess against rim of bowl, and set on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
  1. Recipe from Martha Stewart
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