When I was a kid, my mom made a cake (or pie) for my birthday. I got to pick the flavors, the colors, the theme. If I picked a cake, it was chocolate with chocolate frosting. If I picked a pie, it was her famous chocolate pie. (Anyone else see a theme here? Pass the chocolate, please!) By the time I was a teenager, I realized that Mom did all of the birthday baking, which meant that she made her own birthday cake. Obviously, this was unacceptable, so I tried to help out. I remember setting my alarm clock for 3 a.m. once, so I could sneak down to the kitchen, make a cake and hide it so that she’d be surprised. (Because I’m sure that no one heard me rattling around in the kitchen at 3 a.m. I was obviously much quieter then than I am now.)
Since I’m now 500 miles away from home, I can’t exactly make a cake for my mom’s birthday. At least, not one that she’d get to enjoy with us. (I suppose I could make one, send her a picture, and then tell her how good it was. Somehow, that doesn’t seem fair though.) And mailing a batch of cupcakes also seemed like a bad idea. (Nothing says “happy birthday!” like a box of messy frosting and ugly cake crumbs, right?) So I settled for cookies.
I’ve had my eye on these Lime Meltaways since the first time I flipped through the pages of this book. I just hadn’t made them since
brownies pie cupcakes anything with chocolate other goodies kept getting moved to the top of my list. (Plus, they’re in the “crumbly and sandy” section of the book; Andy’s least favorite kinds of cookies.) But I needed a birthday treat! Preferably one that I could make quickly one night after work. And one that wouldn’t be too delicate, since it would have to survive some rough treatment by the U.S. Postal Service. And since my mom gave me my copy of Cookies, it only seems fitting that her treat would come from those pages!
Enter the Lime Meltaways. They’re a cinch to put together, and if you’re a person who keeps limes (or any other citrus, as I’m sure you could swap lemon, orange, etc.), in the house, you already have all of the ingredients.They are, as the book promises, on the crumbly/sandy side, so
Andy lovers of chewy cookies, this one’s not for you. But it’s light and refreshing, and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love something that covered in powdered sugar?
So, happy birthday Mom! Next time I’m in town, I’ll make you a cake – but I’m not getting up at 3 a.m. to do it! 🙂
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, using the whisk attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the zest, lime juice and vanilla. Mix until fluffy. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until just combined.
Roll out a square of parchment paper (approximately the same size as a cookie sheet) and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into logs that measure about 1 1/4″ in diameter. Roll the logs up in the parchment and freeze until the dough is cold and firm. (This took somewhere between 20-40 minutes in the freezer; you could use the fridge as well – it would just take longer. And we all know my feelings on waiting.)
Remove the logs from the freezer and slice into rounds about 1/4″ thick. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the slices on the paper with about an inch of space between them. Preheat your oven to 350.
Bake the cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.
When the cookies are done, remove from the cookie sheet and let cool for about 3 to 5 minutes (you want to be able to handle them, but you don’t want them cold). Place the remaining powdered sugar in a large bowl with a lid (or a ziploc bag, but I was saving the environment here) and place the baked cookies in the powdered sugar. Cover the bowl and gently shake to coat the cookies. Remove them from the powdered sugar and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.