Hey sugar, how about a lime?

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I decided to try this recipe just so I could have an excuse to make lime sugar.

I know, right?

I used a citrus zester because I like to live a little dangerously and risk peeling half my thumb when zesting limes.  You could easily remove lime peel with a sharp pairing knife.  I also think a microplane rasper would work as well (though it would change the texture of your final product).  Once your limes are zested and said zest is chopped, then there is grinding.  With sugar.  Sounds dirty doesn’t it?

The result is fantastic.  Lime sugar is like WD40.   One product, many uses.  Want a little extra zing to your margarita?  Rim your glass with lime sugar.  Want glowing skin?  Just add coconut oil and you’ve got a fresh sugar scrub.  I could go on for days.

In this instance however, we’re making cookies with it.  Sugar cookies to be exact.

In the original recipe, the dough is rolled into a log and chilled.  I was feeling a little frisky and decided to roll-out mine  using this fail-proof method.  One note here, this dough is much softer than a traditional cut-out cookie dough.  For this reason, chill well, cut-out quickly and then re-chill the shaped dough before it goes into the oven.

After cutting-out the flowers, I dipped each in superfine sugar for some added texture.  These would also do well iced.   They are simple but pack a nice punch of flavor.  Lovely with an iced-tea on a summer’s day.

Soundtrack

Vampire Weekend.  To me, this band is like all the good things of summer rolled-into one.  Their music makes me want to pop my polo collar, throw off my shoes and wiggle my toes in the sand.   With one exception.  Unlike Vampire Weekend, I do give a f&*k about the Oxford Comma.  Well, insofar as I detest it.  Serial comma?  More like serial killer of my patience.  Why anyone would think it necessary to punctuate before an obviously terminal conjunction is beyond me.

Lime Sugar Cookies

Gourmet, July 2000

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime sugar (see below for instructions)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Beat together butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons lime sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together over egg mixture, then beat on low speed until just combined.
  2. Form dough into a 10-inch log (2 inches in diameter) on wax paper, then wrap in wax paper. Chill dough until firm, at least 4 hours.  Alternately, roll-out dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper.  Chill until firm and cut-out as desired.  Dough can be re-rolled but will need to be chilled in-between (dough is very soft).
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. Remove wax paper and cut log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Bake cookies 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets in batches in middle of oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until pale golden. Immediately transfer with a metal spatula to a rack set over a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle tops with remaining lime sugar. Cool cookies.

Lime Sugar

  • 6 limes
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  1. Remove zest from limes in strips with a vegetable peeler (or zester or pairing knife) and cut away any white pith from zest (pith imparts a bitter flavor). Chop zest (about 1/2 cup), then grind in a food processor with sugar until mixture is pale green with bits of zest still visible.
  2. Misanthropic Hostess note.  Now you are left with 6 naked limes that will quickly go South if you don’t use them immediately.    So what do you do when life gives you limes?  You make lime simple syrup for warm weather cocktails.  Juice your limes and combine 1/2 C of  water with 1 C of sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.  When mixture reaches boiling, turn off heat and add lime juice (and any extra lime zest you might have).  Store in a covered container in the fridge.

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