As I've mentioned before, I love citrus, especially in the summer time, when my sweet tooth craves something that's also tart and refreshing. I've been favoring cookies over cake/pie lately, so I dug through my recipes binder and found three Martha Stewart Living recipes I've been meaning to try.
First the Lime flowers, which I turned into rounds for lack of a flower cookie cutter.
lime flowers (app 2 dozen)
1. Sift together 2 c all-purpose flour, 1/2 ts baking powder, and 1/4 ts salt in a large bowl, set aside.
2. Put 1 c granulated sugar and 2 TS lime zest in a mixing bowl, mix on medium speed about 1 min. Add 1.5 sticks unsalted softened butter; mix until fluffy, about 2 mins. Mix in 1 ts vanilla extract and 1/4 c fresh lime juice. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, halve the dough. Flatten each half into a 10" disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough in freezer 30 mins.
4. Preheat oven to 325 dF. Roll out disk on parchment paper to 1/8" thick. Using a 3" cookie cutter, cut shapes from dough. Space on baking sheets 1" apart. Repeat with other disk.
5. Bake until set, about 16 mins. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over cookies.
Omitted: I didn't sift confectioners' sugar over the finished cookies. I like sweets, but I don't like them too sweet.
Next time: I loved these cookies, however, sometimes I could taste the vanilla extract and it just didn't seem to go. I'll omit the vanilla extract when I make these again.
Next up, Lemon Poppyseed cookies. I omitted the last step of adding more poppyseeds on top. Like the lime flowers, they are buttery and have the perfect texture just between soft and crunchy.
lemon poppy-seed cookies (app.30)
1. Preheat oven to 375 dF. Bring 1/4 c fresh lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced by half. Add 1 stick butter, stir until melted.
2. Whisk together 2 c all-purpose flour, 1 ts baking powder and 1/2 ts salt. Cream 1 stick butter and 1c sugar on medium speed. Mix in 1 large egg and lemon butter, mix until pale, about 3 min. Mix in 2 ts pure vanilla extract and 2 TS freshly grated lemon zest. Mix in flour mixture and 1 TS poppy seeds.
3. Stir together 1/2 c sugar and 1.5 ts lemon zest. Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1.25" balls; roll them in sugar mixture. Place 2" apart on baking sheets. Press each with the flat end of a glass dipped in sugar mixture until 1.25" thick. Sprinkle with poppyseeds.
4. Bake until just browned around bottom edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
Omitted: Rolling the dough balls in the sugar mixture. I thought there was already so much sugar in these cookies, more would have been overkill.
Next time: BF thought they were perfect, I found them a tad too sweet. Compared to the other two recipes, there is an extra half cup of sugar in these cookies. I'll use one cup of sugar when I make these again.
Last, and definitely my favorite, are the Lime Cornmeal Glazed cookies. I was very curious about using cornmeal in cookies, I haven't really tasted it in anything else besides cornbread. The cookies are a bit fragile (they crumble easily) but they taste amazing and are well worth the work. I often forgo glazes (too sugary), but this glaze (with bits of lime and orange rind) is so good, I even ate the leftover glaze by the spoonful.
get the recipe here: Lime Cornmeal Glazed Cookies
Omitted/Substituted: I used whole wheat flour instead of regular. It was a great choice and went incredibly well with the lime. Sometimes Martha's recipes use too much zest for my taste, here I used 2 ts of zest instead of the 4 ts suggested.
Next time: I'll omit the almond extract. Like the vanilla extract in the lime flowers, it adds an somewhat odd aftertaste I can make out now and then. I think these fab cookies will be better without.
Last thoughts: Yummy cookies, all of them. They had in common an incredibly sticky dough, but rolling it out between two sheets of plastic wrap made handling it much easier.
c = cup
ts = teaspoon
TS = tablespoon
dF = degree Fahrenheit