Female. Lives in United States/Illinois/Chicago, speaks English. My interests are Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking/Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.
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United States, Illinois, Chicago, English, Female, Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking, Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

IMBB 10: A Cookie Swap with Lime Shortbread Cookies

I'm so excited to participate in this month's edition of Is My Blog Burning?, hosted by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. Jennifer's theme, Cookie Swap, is perfect for this time of year and I'm already looking forward to seeing what other cookie creations people bring to the table.

While I have a number of traditional holiday cookie favorites, I decided to share a recent addition to my cookie repetoire for IMBB. I made Lime Shortbread Cookies from a recipe I learned at The Chopping Block here in Chicago.

These cookies are delicious. Like any good shortbread they are rich, buttery and they melt in your mouth. The addition of lime zest and lime juice gives them a really interesting sweet/tart component which makes them so different from standard shortbread. I love these cookies because:

1. As I just mentioned, they are delicious.
2. They are easy to make, yet people who eat them usually think they required tons of time and energy to prepare. They seem fancier than they are.
3. The dough freezes very well if you want to save some to have on hand at a future time.
4. There is a delightfully unexpected quality to these cookies. Everybody expects some form of shortbread cookie on the holiday table, but do they expect to taste lime when they bite into it? I love that this cookie is traditional without being conventional.

Lime Shortbread Cookies
Recipe courtesy of The Chopping Block
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies

For cookies:
16 ounces (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
4 to 6 limes, zested (I always use 6)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour

For glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

1. Cream butter, powdered sugar and zest in a stand mixer with paddle until well combined.
2. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
3. Add flour and mix until well combined.

4. Now you have your basic dough. Roll the dough, using 2 pieces of parchment paper, into two equal logs of about 2 inches in diameter and 11 inches long. Chill until hardened, about one hour. Notice that I'm not fanatical about making perfectly round logs. You can be, but it's not necessary; the cookies still come out looking fine.

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
6. Cut cookies from log about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick.
7. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. (I use a nonstick baking sheet and that's fine too)
8. Bake until cookies are lightly browned on the edges, about 25-35 minutes. An important note: I have always baked my cookies about 20-25 minutes and they come out just right. The chef who shared this recipe with me feels that 10-15 minutes often is enough to do the trick. The official Chopping Block recipe calls for 25-35 minutes. I recommend you take a peek at your cookies at the 10-15 minute mark and see how much longer they need. You don't want to overbake.
9. Remove cookies from baking sheet and set on rack to cool.

10. Make the glaze for the tops of the cookies. Place powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and add the lime juice. Blend to make the icing. If your icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more lime juice.
11. Bruch glaze on top of cooled cookie. Let harden and serve.

I've made these cookies for guests on several occassions and they've gotten good reviews. Win feels that they are best dipped completely into the glaze as opposed to just being topped with the glaze. I think that's sweetness overkill, but if you like really sweet, tangy desserts then try dipping a cookie or two all the way.

I hope you enjoy these Lime Shortbread Cookies as much as we do.