Sunday, January 20, 2008

Margarita Cookies

It's been a slice-and-bake cookie kind of weekend at my house... not that that's a bad thing...

This is the recipe that sent me down the cookie baking trail this weekend -- I mean, come on... Margarita Cookies? What a brilliant idea. Tequila, lime, salt in cookie form... wow, truly inspired. Smitten Kitchen created the recipe by adapting Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Sable recipe and I have to say, it's pretty damn good.

Actually, I liked these a bit better than the base Lemon Sable recipe -- probably because Smitten Kitchen used two limes and half an orange in the recipe, as opposed to the one lemon I zested into the Sables. Plus, any cookie that has tequila in it (I used Patron Silver) is a winner in my book. I thought I might make myself a regular Margarita on the rocks (Patron Silver Tequila, Patron Citron, and a squeeze of lime in a salt-rimmed glass), since the first time I read about the cookies I started craving one, but I ended up mixing the cookie dough together at about 8 am Sunday morning, and I just couldn't quite convince myself that the line "it's happy hour somewhere" counted under those circumstances.

Margarita Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sables au Citron

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons tequila
Grated zest of 2 limes
Grate zest of half an orange
2 cups all-purpose flour

Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s OK—just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Deb note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, I moved the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you’d see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.

* Updated to add that if you should choose to use regular table salt and not Maldon, use less! Much less. Probably half or less. Because Maldon has such volume, the equivalent amount of a finer salt would be much more pungent. Better on the safe side than sorry, right?


the "bjs" thing has run its course said...

pleeeeeeeeeeeease make these again sometime when i'm around... i'll make it worth your while.... somehow... tequila cookies... on the job... i'd be so happy (and out of it)

Anonymous said...

alcohol in cookie form...mmm...lauren would probably LOVE that - too bad she's planning on doing a detox after this weekend...

biscuitpusher said...

when will you be back? I'm sure I could be persuaded to make them again... :)

back to being a snork said...

i'll be back at my desk on wednesday.

make them again, me love you long time.=P

Mira said...

these LOOK prettier. but the lemon sounds yummy, too!
plus it's kinda more appropriate to the salt on the outside of the margarita cookie than the lemon one. :D

burkie said...

you know, i doubt any of us really believe that you talked yourself out of a margarita just because it was 8 am. come on, you can admit it :)
these look pretty good, as do the lemon sables, but then i like shortbread cookies. a lot. judging by your posts, though, i guess i shouldn't expect chocolate chip to stop my house with sticky buns tonight, huh? :(


biscuitpusher said...

no sticky buns this weekend. We ended up going to Hanover on Saturday to make the car exchange so that threw the whole schedule off. you know, you could make them yourself now that you're the bread making man...

burkie said...

my least favorite of the three, i have to say. not that i didn't like them, i just didn't like them as much as the other ones. they were okay--they actually taste like a margarita.'s a cookie, and i'd rather drink a margarita. personally, i would only make these for theme parties and cinco de mayo. THAT'S why you should always make 3 different kinds of cookies :)


cookie crazed said...

unlike burkie and mira, i liked this cookie better than the lemon sable...though, it's probably because the margarita cookie was softer. the jury's still out on the salt, though...i think i would've liked it more without it, or at least with less salt. of the three cookies, i liked this one best...i think... =)

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