Back to the Start

Hello, fellow cookie kindness lovers!  What a week; busy, productive, thought provoking, tiring and fulfilling all at the same time.  I reconnected with old friends, had inspiring conversations with both old and new friends, and ate way too many cookies and cupcakes.  That qualifies for a good week, wouldn’t you say?

This week’s journeying took me to one of my favorite places EVER.  If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, I’ve mentioned this place and how great it is.  When I asked my mom (who doesn’t live in Astoria or even close to it) to guess where I was going this week, this was her first guess.  Anyone?  If you guessed Sorriso’s Italian Pork Store, you’d be right!  I was first introduced by my friend Jen (you remember her from last week’s post, right?) and have been a customer for the last close-to-4 years.  Those of you who have been following Single Girl for most of my journey may remember that before I was officially “Single Girl Cookies”, I was taking my goods up to the fine folks at Sorriso’s to share my creations with someone.  I’ve brought cookies, cupcakes, pumpkin bread, even some of my homemade butternut squash soup.  And not to brag, but just ask my friend Lauren about my soup.  She’ll tell you how good it is.

It felt a little like coming full circle to be sent to Sorriso’s, essentially where the seed of this all began.  And because I’ve brought them so many things, I couldn’t just bring them the usual chocolate chip cookies this time.  This time, it had to be something special.

I started brain storming with my mother (another trend you may have picked up on in my SGC life) and her love of cannolis made me think, well, what if I did a cannoli cupcake?  I didn’t want to look at recipes too much and just copy something that was already out there so I decided on a vanilla cupcake with dashes of cinnamon and orange with a cannoli filling for the frosting.  I originally meant to put mini chocolate chips in the batter but as per usual Renee, I forgot 🙂

The cupcakes turned out pretty well, maybe a bit too dense for my taste but I made a second batch that I took to my lovelies at SingleCut.  the second batch was a bit lighter and fluffier and definitely more moist than the first go ’round.  But the frosting, oh my god.  It took me three tries to get it right (and an HOUR traipsing around the neighborhood trying to find an open establishment that sold ricotta cheese at 10:30pm on a Wednesday night) , but when I did, boy did I get it right!  I gave the tops a light dusting of cinnamon and sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top and voila:


They are every bit as delicious as they look.

The Sorriso’s crew loved them, I took home a sandwich (The Sorriso.  Grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, balsamic and oil, fresh mozz.  Another favorite of mine is the Hollander; roast beef with pignoli nuts, sundried tomatoes, mozz – so good.  I write haikus about my sandwiches and profess love to them) and some homemade ricotta for further experimentation and was a happy girl.  Sal also told me to head to Off the Vine for my next drop, which excites me greatly; I used to go there all the time when I lived at 44th and 30th.  I even ran into Jean Paul at some industry wine tasting years ago and because he’s so open, welcoming and nice, it felt like we were fast friends.  They also have a great selection of wines and he is pretty knowledgeable.  I’m looking forward to doing a little wine shopping while I’m there this week!

Also this week, Single Girl’s reach spread beyond Astoria and into the borough of Manhattan.  Turtle Bay Music School held their 9th Annual Perform-a-thon this weekend which is where the school and community comes together to fund raise and performs for three consecutive days (  There are raffles, cake walks, and bake sales, in addition to the music being made.  It’s quite an amazing thing.  I participated by singing as well as contributing some baked good for the bake sale, which sold in hours.


Incredibly, we met and exceeded our fundraising goal for a total of $75, 325!  See what happens when people come together?

You may also remember a few weeks back I mentioned being interviewed by two students from Parsons about Astoria.  Curry and Andre had stumbled upon my project while researching the area and decided to use me and my project as a focus of their final presentation in one of their classes.


First of all, the class was fascinating to me because I never really sit down and think about economic growth and how it can be created within specific communities.  We all experience this with our desires and wants but never analyze how it happens and how it can be stimulated.  It was really eye opening, and perhaps I’ll be able to share some of it with you once they send it to me.  The other guests and professors seemed to really enjoy the concept of what I’m doing, and most importantly, Curry and Andre’s interest in SGC provided a whole new platform with which to introduce people outside the neighborhood to what I’m doing.

I met up with a friend on Saturday who was in town playing some gigs here in NYC this weekend and had mentioned my project.  As per usual, I brought cookies for the crew and band, but the exciting (for me) part is that I left my plate at the theater.  You know how I sometimes give plates of cookies away with a signed bottom?  Then other people sign the bottom and give it away with something else, like Astoria Coffee did to Astoria Bookshop.  It’s a bit like marking a dollar bill.  Btw, how excited am I that Astoria Bookshop found a location and we will be having a real, live bookstore here soon???

Back to the plate.  I left it at the theater, which means either it got cleaned up and taken back with the caterer, or left at the theater for folks there to use, who knows?  The fact is that I have another SGC plate floating around somewhere with the potential of someone looking at the bottom, thinking, “What the heck is Single Girl Cookies?” and being curious enough to sit down at a computer and look it up.  My empire and reign of kindness is just beginning…aren’t you excited? 🙂


Copyright 2013, Renee Heitmann


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