Dad's Day Cookies at Elsylee Galetes Artesanals

The word artisan seems to appear on food items everywhere: cheeses, jams, crackers. Yet by the very definition of the word, this cannot be the case. An artisan produces things in limited quantities using traditional methods. So Nabisco's Wheat Thins Artisan Cheese crackers are anything but.

Miami, however, has a true artisan to brag about in Elsylee. She's a young, vivacious baker who keeps traditions alive with the cookies she learned to make from her grandmother in Galicia, Spain. Though she bakes every day, you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She stands tall and thin with a big smile that makes you feel good, just like the buttery almond snowballs that are her favorite.

And these sweet, decadent delights taste as enticing as they look. There are more than 30 varieties. They are named for cities and sold either by the dozen or as a "collection" named after architectural art movements these cities represent. There's the Neoclassic, the Deco, the Baroco. Each cookie is a piece of art in its own right. Miami and Key Largo are both in the Deco D'art Collection.

Her Father's Day collection includes the rich and dense versions of classic cookies such as the Oreo, appropriately named for its hometown, New York. There's also a peanut thumbprint cookie, an oatmeal cookie, a hazelnut thumbprint, and a chocolate fudge, all named for the U.S. cities they represent. The one exception is "Paris," a decadent almond thumbprint with hazelnut cream. Why Paris? "It's sexy and nutty," Elsylee says with a twinkle in her eye.  Most of us don't think of our fathers as sexy (although maybe nutty), but hey, it's Father's Day, so let him have his moment.

Elsylee's artisanal treats are available for purchase on her website, elsylee.com, or at Norman Brothers Produce, L&L Market, and Nordstrom.

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