Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lime Meltaways

I was running through various cookie recipes that I could make yesterday and nothing sounded all that appealing. Sure I have oatmeal, raisins, craisins, dried apricots, dried mangoes, coconut, walnut, pecans, almonds, honey roasted peanut, peanut butter, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, and heath bits -- any combination of which has the potential for a new and interesting cookie to add to the list, but nothing really sounded like something I wanted to try.

Just when I was coming to the conclusion that I would have to make something other than cookies, I remembered a recent post on Smitten Kitchen on Lime Meltaway cookies. Perfect. I even had the limes on hand to make them.

Now, Smitten Kitchen's post talks about the difference between key limes and regular limes and how you should use key limes for this recipe. However, last year sometime I was going through my America's Test Kitchen book and they talked about key limes vs. regular limes and they claimed that in all their testing, they could never tell the difference in flavor. In fact, after all the testing they did, they recommended using regular limes for any recipe that specified key limes because regular limes are bigger, cheaper, and easier to fine. Good enough for me.]

These cookies are quite good and surprisingly not all that sweet for cookies. Only 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in the cookie dough itself, which is why tossing the cooled cookies with powdered sugar is so important. The lime flavor was actually fairly subtle, but still at least noticeable and I have a hunch it will come through stronger in a day or two. I have to say though, the Lime Pistachio cookies I made a while back have a similar concept -- lime used in a shortbread-type cookie, but the Lime Pistachio ones were the better cookies in my opinion. And if you want a really awesome lime cookie -- try these Lime Coconut Cookies instead....

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of 4 tiny or 2 large key limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (a.k.a. 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

Between two 8-by-12-inch pieces of plastic wrap, roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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