Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas 2010 Cookie Explosion #3 - Martha's Lime Meltaways

I'd like to say we are almost done with Christmas cookies, but the truth is we have only started. While I've finished baking - all those raw cookies I froze over 2 months time in 1 day! - I have a TON of pictures and recipes left...and I'm already thinking what I can do next

I'm always looking for a great lime cookie, and these are truly awesome. While I wouldn't crumble them up and use them for a cheesecake base (which is my true reason for looking for good lemon and lime cookies), these are little gems on their own. After all, look at that texture! They really do melt in your mouth! And, they taste a lot like lime!

I must admit, I approach the Martha Stewart website with caution, since some of the recipes I have tried on there just weren't successful for me, and one was just wrong. However, I don't regret picking this recipe. I love the lime taste of these little beauties.

I do recommend you follow the directions for them, and roll them into small cookies. They should be 1-2 bites, since they tend to fall apart. And, if they are any bigger, the wonderful texture kind of suffers.

These cookies do need a bit of TLC to make sure you get the wonderful melt-away texture. It's really important you don't over work the dough, so you should treat the cookie dough sort of like a biscuit or pie dough. Once you have added the flour, mix the dough until it just comes together. Then roll it and leave it alone...I know, that's tough to do for some of us.

When they are in the oven, after 6 or so minutes, watch them carefully. You want to take them out of the oven when the edges are just starting to brown. Trust me, they don't taste very good when they are overcooked.

And finally, don't be like me and rush to coat them in powdered sugar. If the cookies are too hot, the powdered sugar will melt, and they will become sticky. It's quite easy to fix this - just let them cool and coat them again. But, they will look a little off, and not like the delicate little bites they are supposed to look like.

Finally, my tip for today. It involves citrus fruit - lemon, lime, and oranges, to name a few. Whenever I use a lemon or lime, I always zest it first. I have a ziploc bag of each zest in the freezer for when the rind may not look appealing and I need it, or when I need more zest than juice. That way, I use the whole fruit. I am going to start doing this with oranges this year as well. You know, to get my moneys worth from the fruit. In addition, if you see a deal on citrus, you can always freeze the juice to use in sauces and soups. It freezes very well.

Lime Meltaways
From Martha Stewart

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
zest of 2 limes (because I wanted this extra fine, I chopped it a bit after I finely grated it)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla (I used half this)
1 3/4 plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 1/3 c. sugar until light and fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Add flour, cornstarch, and salt, and mix until just combined. Divide dough in 1/2, and roll between parchment paper to form 2 1" logs. Chill at least 1 hour, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350. Slice dough into 1/8" thick rounds (mine were a bit thicker). Place on cookie sheet, spacing cookies 1" apart. They don't spread, so don't worry too much about spacing.

Bake cookies at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until barely golden brown. Let cookies cool 15-20 minutes. While cookies are cooling, place the remaining 2/3 c. powdered sugar in a bag. When cookies are cool, put cookies, a few at a time, into the bag and shake gently to coat with sugar. Baked cookies can be stored up to 2weeks in an airtight container.

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