Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with a spacious kitchen. They often bring some of their market's best ingredients home with them and cook up a feast, and when they're not cooking at home, they're working with the staff at Marczyk to create recipes for the rest of us to enjoy, usually turning to Whitney Ariss, a home cook and the market's marketing project manager and events coordinator, for inspiration.
"Right around now is the time I start getting major spring fever, especially on a day like today when it literally feels like spring," says Ariss. But spring is still a month away (29 days, if you're counting) -- and Colorado's growing season won't peak until summer, which is why Ariss consoles her spring fever by turning to baking. "About all that you can get that's local in our stores right now is carrots, potatoes and greens, and the promise of local fruit still seems painfully far away, so to cure the spring fever, I bake," she says, adding that "nothing wakes up your senses from the cold of winter like some freshly grated lemon zest," a key ingredient in today's cookie recipe, which she shares on the next page.
"I love the depth of flavor the zest adds to the cookies, which get an extra punch of citrus-y goodness from the addition of lemon extract, and I also love baking with our Sierra Nevada cream cheese, which is fluffier and lighter than the stuff you find wrapped in foil but still has the rich, creamy taste you'd expect from a cream cheese," explains Ariss. The result? "Pretty cookies that bake up light, tender and cake-y."More »