I love all of the seasons, and I'm grateful that I live in a temperate climate so that I may witness all four of them come and go. It is a comfort to look forward to, something that is as exciting as it is certain. I like to eat seasonally, so I save up my cravings for seasonal produce until the time comes, patiently building up expectations, knowing that unlike many things in life, satisfaction is guaranteed ... if I just hold out until the timing is right. For this same reason, I only bake springerle cookies during Christmas, because if I made them all the time, I fear they wouldn't be as delicious or fun to make. They wouldn't be as special. In the long run, these little deprivations make me happier. Healthier too, I bet. There's always something wonderful to celebrate on the horizon.
One thing worth celebrating is a late summer peach. Their gorgeous coloring and flannel-soft skin is enough to make my eyes glaze over. Suddenly in August, I'm that creep in the grocery store, petting the peaches. When ripe, their sweetness is unmatched. I'll take good peach over any dessert, and as a sugar-addled sweets junkie, I can't speak as highly of any other fruit.
For the first couple weeks of peach season, I eat them whole. They're just too good to mess around with, and I eat them too fast to make plans for them anyway. But as the season draws to a close, I give in to a squirrel-like instinct to horde away summer's bounty. I had to make peach jam, and while stirring the pot, my mind wondered to other possibilities.
I spent quite a bit of time considering pies, but that idea quickly went to the wayside when I discovered a recipe for pesche dolci, a classic Italian cookie often reserved for special occasions. They're little domed sugar cookies, hollowed and stuffed with a peach paste made from peach jam and cookie crumbs (the "pit"). The cookies are sandwiched together, dipped in orange-hued liquor, and rolled in sugar. Top each cookie with a clove stem and mint leaf, and you have one hell of a peach impersonation.
These are definitely time consuming, but well worth the trouble. The sight of them makes people smile, and they taste delicious! Pesche dolci is the perfect way to say goodbye to summer.