Tuesday, August 6, 2013

key lime meltaways

These little key lime meltaway cookies DO melt in your mouth. They also have just the right amount sweetness from the dusting of powdered sugar and zing from the copious amounts of key lime zest in them. I imagine that you can turn these into any meltaway flavor by switching the zest and juice to either orange, lemon, even grapefruit or by all means just using everyday limes which are in the original recipe.

I formed my dough into 1-inch diameter logs, so when I sliced my cookies they were about the size of a quarter. Perfect little one-bite bursts of sunshine. 

Key Lime Meltaways
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999 and smitten kitchen
makes 6+ dozen quarter-sized cookies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter @ room temperature
1 cup of confectioners' sugar ***a.k.a. powdered sugar*** 
finely grated zest of 4 - 6 key limes ***I used 6 because I wanted them to taste lime-y***
2 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt 

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

Cream unsalted butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or hand held mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the key lime zest, juice, and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated and fluffy.

Add your flour mixture to your butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make these cookies into bite-size, divide the dough into thirds. Place each third onto a piece of 8-inch X 14-inch piece of parchment paper or equivalent. Fold one of the longer ends over the dough. Hold the bottom side of the folded parchment and using a bench scraper or ruler, press and push on the dough that it forms a log approximately 1-inch in diameter and 10 inches long. You should have 3 rolls.

Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour. ***Cookie logs can also be frozen when you need a burst of sunshine.***

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1-1/4 inch thick rounds. On parchment lined cookie sheets, space cookie rounds 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating halfway through. ***If baking cookie dough straight from freezer, cooking time may be increased an additional 2-3 minutes.*** 

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool for 8 - 10 minutes. 

Place the remaining 2/3 cup confections' sugar into a large Ziplock bag. While still warm, gently toss the cookies in the confectioners' sugar until completely dusted.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.