Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lemon Lime Cilantro Shortbread Cookies

It's all about the butter. I don't make cookies that often, but when I do, it's all about the butter. Don't even start on any kind of margarine nonsense with me. Blaspheme! I'm not really about the big, filled-with-nine-candybar kind of cookie either. Simplicity is the way a cookie finds its way into my heart. With all this praise of butter, it's can't come as a surprise that I love shortbread. To echo the one an only Chris Trager on Parks and Rec, these cookies LITERALLY melt in your mouth.

But who says shortbread has to be borebread? There are so many flavors that can be added to jazz up this humble dessert. I was feeling summer-y ahead of a recent picnic, so citrus made oh so much sense. But plain lemon lime felt pedestrian. Then like a chorus of herbacious angels it occurred to me -- cilantro makes everything better. In this fair cookie, it gave just the extra hint of something special. Something to make you say "hmmmm."

Here we find our flavor stars -- lime zest, lemon zest and finely minced cilantro. Such a pretty little bunch and such natural friends.

But butter won't let those colorful characters steal the spotlight. No... butter knows this cookie is all about her. Zest and herb best step-off.

A friendly whir in the food processor makes friends of fat and flavor foes.

So like most shortbread dough, you need to chill it down before cutting and baking. I use plastic wrap to form the dough into a roll and then tightly seal the ends. My dough roll isn't perfect, which means that my cookies won't be perfect. I'm also not perfect, so it's fine.

Then into the freezer she goes -- at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Remember what I said about the roll not being perfect? Still looks like that out of the freezer. Still okay. Roll in granulated sugar and slice thinly.

Admire the pretty green flecks. Bake just until the edges are golden, not the whole cookie. This will keep them buttery and soft. 

Lemon Lime Cilantro Shortbread Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar (also called confectioner's sugar)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon cilantro, finely minced
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold and cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a food processor, combine flour, powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, lime zest and cilantro. Pulse until evenly combined. Add cold butter and process until it starts to look like sand. Add lemon juice, lime juice and egg yolks; pulsing until dough forms.

Form dough into a 2-inch log on a layer of plastic wrap. Seal ends tightly and freeze log overnight (or for at least two hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough log from plastic wrap and gently roll in granulated sugar, ensuring sugar is pressed into dough. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch rounds. Place cookies are a parchment lined tray (you'll use two) and bake for about 15 minutes, or until just the edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool on the tray for a few minutes, before removing to cooling racks. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Shortbread dough adapted from Everyday Food.

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