No To-Go Cup, Please
By Patty Schell

Along in the afternoon, my thoughts turn to a cup of tea and a little something sweet. It is certainly a very nice respite for a busy day. While visiting Germany, I found this to be the common practice. Whether we were out and about or happened by a friend’s house (Yes, people actually do that there.), coffee or tea was brewed, and a cookie was offered without fail. And it was all enjoyed while sitting and visiting.

In our grab and go culture we miss this simple pleasure of refreshment centered around some small talk. If we took time to sit and enjoy each other’s company, we might find our lives a little less hectic and a little more meaningful. You see, the refreshment does not come from the snack like we think. You’ve seen in the old movies when they ask, “Would you take some refreshment?” Food was certainly being offered but I believe it was far more than that. Refreshment did not come from the eating of treats as wonderful as they might be. It was the time spent in sweet fellowship that nourished the body and soul. And time is a key component to making it all work. Friendship is not fast food. It a sit-down occasion to be savored. 

Life is better shared with friends. It’s just a fact. So, take a break from the hectic and find refreshment.

“To be with old friends is very warm and comforting.” ~Ian Ziering

Here is a recipe for a little something to serve next time you sip tea with friends. Not too hard to put together but they have a bit of wow factor.

Citrus Butter Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

2 cups salted butter, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 whole large eggs, separated
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons orange, lemon, and lime zest (approx. 1 tablespoon each) 
2 tablespoons orange, lemon, and/or lime juice (2 tablespoons total)

Icing Ingredients

3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons orange, lemon, and lime zest
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Dash of salt
Extra zest, for decorating


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set whites aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes.

Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing: combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.

Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then do it again in the other direction. Sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.