Given the fact that I already posted one citrusy dessert this week, Arizona Grapefruit Cake, and am posting another tropical treat today (and wait till you see what I have in store for tomorrow!) you can pretty much take this as my mind's desperate plea for soft ocean breezes and warm sunny days. Seriously, this is the worst winter I can remember and we don't even live in Boston! But no matter, when you take a bite of these little melt-in-your-mouth morsels, enhanced with the subtle flavor of key lime, you will find this endless cold a little bit more bearable!
Are you a lime lover? Do you like a squirt of lime over your fajitas or salads or in your drinks? Not me. Truth be told, I generally prefer lemon, although I do love a good Key Lime pie. These cookies are enhanced not only with fresh lime juice but also lime zest, yet somehow the lime flavor is never overpowering. My mom, who loves lime, adored these, both for their flavor and their delicate, crumbly texture. And these are easy to whip up. Once you've mixed up the simple batter (and you must use an electric mixer here to whip enough air into the batter) you either pipe or drop them onto cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes.
They go perfectly with a cup of tea. A hot cup of tea, which I am going to go upstairs and make myself right now! If you too are suffering from a case of "when will Spring come?!!", (or even if you're not and just want to commiserate) make a batch of these buttery, limey little gems and remind yourself what sunshine tastes like!
Key Lime Meltaways
Makes about 40 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 12-15 minutes
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 4 teaspoons Key lime juice (preferably fresh but use bottled key lime juice if that's all you can find)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Make sure rack is in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, confectioner's sugar, lime juice, vanilla and lime zest for about 2 minutes, until totally smooth (this may take longer if you have a handheld mixer). Add the flour and salt and keep mixing at medium speed for another 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Drop slightly rounded tablespoonfuls of batter on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes, until they're light golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Serve or transfer carefully to an airtight container---these are fragile. Cookies last 3-4 days stored at room temperature.
Note: Recipe adapted from Jenny McCoy's Desserts for Every Season.