Tag Archives: Citrus

Repeat Offender

I know what you’re thinking, more cookies. Particularly now, when we’re all supposed to be concerned with eating healthy and losing weight? You could certainly be forgiven for having no patience with me.

Excerpt for this: these lime meltaway cookies are so good that I made them twice in a week.

The first time, for my mother’s birthday I served them alongside a rich chocolate cake (rest assured, I’ll get to that recipe, too). The cake was delicious, and yet, these cookies stole the show. The lime keeps them just shy of being decadent, preventing them from becoming too cloying. After all, there’s a fair amount of sugar in the recipe.

And the texture.

It goes without saying that cookies called “meltaways”, um, melt in your mouth. They’re shortbread’s sophisticated cousin, quite and unassuming with a taste that lingers at the end, just slightly. Although, if you want a more crunchy outer texture, you can finish them with sanding sugar, rather than confectioners’, as I did with part of round two.

Either way, these lime meltaways are the perfect cookie to have alongside your post dinner coffee, and they’d be equally at home in a holiday cookie box. In other words, file this recipe away for the 2012 holiday season. They’d be perfect, too, as they’re essentially ice box cookies. So, you can make them ahead and store them in your freezer as you’re prepping the rest of your cookies.

So, as per usual, I’m out of step. You can’t really be surprised, though, given that I cooked a Thanksgiving meal two weeks after the holiday and host a “Summer” picnic each October. And, maybe sending your friends and family boxes of cookies post holiday is just the thing they need to get through the winter doldrums.

Lime Meltaways
Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners sugar, plus another 2/3 cup if you’re coating the cookies in confectioners’ sugar* (Otherwise, you’ll need 1/4 cup sanding sugar)
Zest of 2 limes, grated
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 TBS cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Cream butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. If you’re using sanding sugar, roll the formed logs in the sugar to coat it at this point. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. If you are coating the finished cookies in confectioners’ sugar, while the cookies are still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag.

Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies


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Filed under Cookies, Dessert

Pure Gold

It’s true beets don’t immediately call summer to mind.

In fact, the first time I had a variation on this salad was last winter, while dining with a friend at ‘inoteca, at her suggestion.

I’ll admit it, I thought the dish seemed very uninspired from its menu description. I mean, beets? Not when there was pasta to be had! And, pancetta!

How could a lowly vegetable compete?

Through alchemy, as it turns out.

When the flavors of this salad meld together, they become something else entirely. The acidic from the oranges and vinegar mellows out the earthiness of the beets, highlighting their sweetness, and the crunch of the hazelnuts makes for a filling and satisfying bite.

By using golden beets instead, it becomes the perfect summer salad. They’re sweeter, for one, giving the salad an even lighter taste. The vegetables also call to mind one of my favorite activities—strolling in farmer’s markets when all of the produce is at its peak.

Then, there’s the color. What color! It’s practically like eating sunshine.

And, who wouldn’t like that?

Golden Beet Salad
Inspired by ‘inoteca

4 Golden Beets*
2 Oranges, Supremed and Juiced
1/4 cup Hazelnuts, diced
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1 TBS Mint
2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for roasting the beets
Salt and Pepper to taste

*You can substitute red beets here, just take care when you’re peeling them as they stain things easily. And, note that your final product won’t be quite as sweet.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Wash the beets and coat them with olive oil. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of roasting, place the chopped hazelnuts in the oven, in a separate dish, to brown.

Remove the hazelnuts and beets and allow them to cool. Once the beets have cooled sufficiently, peel them and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Supreme the oranges. The orange segments should be combined with your diced beets. Add the chopped mint to the oranges and beets.

Juice the discarded parts of the orange into a small bowl. Combine the orange juice with red wine vinegar and olive oil, whisking until the mixture is well combined into a dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the beets, oranges, and mint, tossing until everything is well coated.

Immediately before serving, top the salad with the chopped hazelnuts and the grated romano cheese.

Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as an appetizer

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Filed under Meatless, Vegetables