Wednesday, September 2, 2009

pure genius

do you like lime?

i love lime. though some (like my sister) would think me crazy, i'd take some rich, citrus-infused butter cookies over a chocolate chipper any day. especially if they're sandwiched with a simple, sweet lime icing.

the secret to these cookies' delicate flavor is dorie greenspan's method of rubbing lime zest into the sugar until it becomes aromatic and flavorful, perfumed with the essence of citrus. pure genius!

lime sables
adapted from baking: from my home to yours (dorie greenspan)

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, mixed with the zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy. Beat in the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogenous.

Mix in the flour mixture just until combined and the dough looks uniformly moist. The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl, nor will it come together in a ball--and it shouldn't. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you're aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy (rather than smooth) dough. Pinch it, and it will feel a little like Play-Doh.

Scrape the dough out onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Alternatively, roll out into a 1/4-inch-thick sheet and cut out shapes with cookie cutters after chilling.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove a log of dough from the fridge and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Cool for a minute or two on the sheet before lifting them onto a rack.

To make cookie sandwiches, mix 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar with enough lime juice to make a spreadable icing. Spread on cookies and sandwich together. Makes about 40 cookies, or 20 sandwiches.

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