Cookie Smiles

Popping into Gelson’s Supermarket to purchase eggs, the in-house bakery, Viktor Benês called to me. (Enjoy life. Eat dessert first. Right?) The lady next to me asked that Happy Birthday be written on a luscious tart piled high with fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries and kiwi. Chatting with the decorator, I picked up a few tips. Such as when working with melted chocolate, use small amounts. If it hardens, stick the chocolate into the microwave for some seconds. I also learned that Viktor Benês is an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who came to the US in the 1920s. In the seventies he sold the bakery to the current owners who retained the name and franchised the successful operation.

Speaking of the seventies, the smiley-face cookies behind the glass spun me back to my youth. And innocence. And the wisdom of surrounding myself with cheery smiley face pens, t-shirts and mugs.

Perusing the shelves more cookie decorations and shapes made me smile. Thought I’d share with the hopes of bringing a grin to your face, too.  

?Just like this Viktor Benêsugar cookie with hard icing is a once-in-a-while treat, occasionally I believe it is healthy to take in an afternoon film matinee. Or a massage. And/or une petite shopping spree.

?This year's birthday was blessed with many phone calls and Facebook posts from family and friends. Some were former work colleagues and it was a pleasant surprise to be remembered. Another happy birthday gift was discovering two designerish purses on sale. Sweet victory!

?Just like part of the joy of buying a bunch of yummy Viktor Benês cookies is sharing; so is a day at the mall with the intent to pick up surprise gifts for those who are less fortunate. Like a deserving little girl in Calcutta who David (my husband) and I sponsor through Children International.

Another joy: That initial bite into a cookie, that first sip of morning coffee, that big toe dip into a bubble bath. Nothing like it. Right? 

Well, a close second would be reminders of all the great times in front of the TV as David and I cheered on his alma mater's basketball team: The University of North Carolina's Tar Heels.

By the way,the Viktor Benês classic French macaron is pretty unforgettable, too. Glossy finish. Crunchy outside. Gooey inside with a cream accented with tart citrus.


But of all the sweet smile-producing moments of life, David's proposal on the Eiffel Tower (au deuxième étage) takes the cookie! Ok. Cake.


Wishing you a week of sweets and smiles.

?The Ninja Baker

©Watkinson 2012