Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lemon-Lime Cookies

Today's recipe is just a quick little one.  All because I wanted a cookie.  Just a simple cookie to satisfy my mid-afternoon sweet tooth.  But nothing in the pantry was making the cut, so I knew I was going to have to make some myself. I started by flipping through my archive of Martha Stewart Cookie recipes.  Say what you like about Martha, her staff cranks out some pretty good cookies.  So what was I going to make?  Chocolate chip?  Nah?  Peanut butter?  Not in the mood.  Oooh...citrus cookies.  Perfect.  I confess to having a life-time love affair with citrus.  I used to eat lemons as a kid, slice 'em up and eat the pulp right out of the skin.  I don't do that anymore, but I think I spied my son doing it once...

I had everything I needed- butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, an egg, and a lemon.  Can it get any simpler?  I got started right away.  Mixed the butter and sugar (my microwave has a soften butter feature, so I don't even have to plan ahead anymore!), added the egg, flour, lemon zest, and baking powder.  But wait, I like lemon just fine, but what about lime?  If I'm going for citrus, then I should really go for it right?  So in went the zest of a couple of limes.  Another confession- I tasted the dough when I was done mixing it.  Not enough citrus for me still, so I added a couple of teaspoons of lime juice and a bit more flour to compensate for the extra moisture.  Ahh, just right.

After a half an hour in the freezer, the dough was ready to cut out.  Here was the tricky part.  We moved back in March and I haven't been able to find any of my three rolling pins since.  A bit of thought and a search through my cabinets led me to the can of non-stick baking spray.  It wasn't quite long enough, but it was evenly round so I managed just fine.  Once the cookies were cut out, I sprinkled them with a mix of yellow and green sugar to really show off the lemon-lime theme and in the oven they went.  I have to say that I am now a happy woman, sitting in my sunny backyard and eating the perfect little cookie.

Lemon-Lime Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs lemon zest
1 egg
1 tbs lime zest
1 tbs lime juice

In a mixer, beat together the sugar and the butter until they are light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add the egg, lime juice, and lemon and lime zests.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until fully incorporated.  Add the flour and baking powder and stir on low speed just until the flour is mixed in.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.  Take the dough from the freezer (if it is too cold to work with, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes).  Roll the it out on a well floured work surface until it is 1/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough into 2 inch circles.  Place each cookie onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets half-way through.  The cookies are ready when they just begin to become golden on the edges.  Remove from the baking sheet right away and let them cool on a rack

The dough will make more than enough cookies to fill two baking sheets.  If you are going to make all of the cookies at one time, let the baking sheets cool in between batches.  Or you can make half of the cookies now and freeze the rest for later.

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