I can rock mathematics. I really can. I had to teach myself calculus for my Economic Growth class at university, and I can recite and solve my favorite growth equation for you (nerd alert). But sometimes when I look at recipes, I have a brain hiccup.
Yesterday I made shortbread cookies with the best of intentions and highest of hopes. I had this adorable square silicone cookie pan to make tiny shortbread squares, but eighteen minutes into baking they were bubbling way over with butter visibly pooling in the middle. Ugly little buggers.
I may have used 2 cups of confectioner sugar instead of 1/2 cup…I’ll be honest. I did use 2 cups of confectioners sugar instead of 1/2 cup. Classy, no?
If I haven’t been clear already about not wanting to hide mistakes, sometimes completely absent-minded mistakes, this should reinforce that point. Sometimes I use tablespoons instead of teaspoons. Sometimes teaspoons instead of tablespoons. But every once in a while those mistakes turn into something delicious. These actually turned into perfect bite-sized lime tarte shells. But I woke up this morning still craving the real lime shortbread cookies, and thank my lucky stars they turned out spectacularly.
They look perfectly innocent, but I found it almost impossible to stop eating them…sweet, dry, and crumbly, with the perfect amount of lime – not overwhelming, but eager enough so that you just have to have another.
Lime Shortbread Cookies (round two)
Yields 30 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups + 2 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon powdered (icing, confectioners, 10x) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lime juice
zest from one lime
1. Cream butter in mixer, then beat in vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest.
2. Sift flour, confectioner sugar, and salt together. With mixer on low, add 1/2 of the flour very slowly until mostly incorporated.
3. Remove mixer bowl, scrape dough off beaters, and then get prepared to get your hands dirty. Instead of using the mixer to incorporate the rest of the flour you will use your hands.
4. Pour the rest of the flour mixture into the mixer bowl, and lightly fold the flour in. This ensures you don’t overwork the gluten in the flour (making the cookie tough), and the warmth from your hands helps dissolve the sugar in the flour. It’s going to be extremely sticky and messy at first, but if you are slow and steady, then a singular ball of dough will slowly form.
5. Using a spoon, scoop out about 1-inch sized balls and place on greased & floured cookie sheet, or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place them 1 inch apart, and bake for 22 minutes at 325 degrees F.
6. Remove from oven, and let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Then transfer to cookie rack or another cookie sheet. Once completely cool, sprinkle confectioner sugar generously. (I used a strainer to do this – just spoon sugar in and lightly tap so that the sugar sprinkles evenly)
Be sure that you have an enormous glass of milk or water with you when you eat a dozen of these.
Come back Wednesday for the final canned beer post of January!