Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet-Sour Lime Shortbread Cookies: Baking for Friends!

What a fun afternoon I've had!  It's been awhile since I've gotten to bake anything due to our new healthy eating plans (!), but today was all about baking for friends!  Sweets for the sweet as they say!  
I made a buttermilk pie for one of Ben's godsons today.  Jack is one of my biggest pie fans and I guess no matter how much I have to cut back on making pies for Ben, Jack will probably be willing to consume my "projects"!  Buttermilk pie is already on one of my posts though, so today I'll tell you about "Sweet-Sour Lime Shortbread Cookies"!  
Wow!  These are so yummy and a bit different because they have a sweet / sour taste that is very intriguing!  The secret is something called "sour salt" or citric acid, which is the same stuff in "SweetTarts"-- remember those?!  Citric acid is also used to prevent peaches, apples, etc. from getting brown once you've cut them.  It's a natural product that is in all citrus fruits.  You'll use only a total of 1/2 teaspoon or so.  I buy it in the "bulk foods" section of my grocery store so I can just buy a little bit. 
I adapted this recipe from one on the "King Arthur Flour" website.  It called for lime oil and I'm not sure where to get that, so I substituted grated lime zest (contains natural lime oil) and I think it was probably an adequate substitute!  
Anyway, these cookies are wonderful for showers or "ladies' parties", but they are also fun for anytime because of their unexpected ZIP!

Sweet-Sour Lime Shortbread Cookies (makes 4 doz. small cookies)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbl. fresh lime juice
grated zest of 1 lime
1/4 tsp. citric acid (sour salt)
1 large egg
2.5 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the salt, baking powder, lime juice, zest, and citric acid and blend well.  Beat in the egg.  Add the flour and slowly combine to make a smooth dough.
Use a 1-inch scoop to portion out the dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets or roll the dough into 1-inch balls.  The cookies won't spread much, so they can be rather close together.
Bake the cookies for 15-16 minutes, or until they are browned on the bottom.  Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the sheets, then shake them around in a bag that contains:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. citric acid (you can add more-- depends how strong a sour taste you want!)

Then place them on a rack to cool completely.  Before serving, shake the cookies in the bag again to coat with the sour-sugar.  
These cookies freeze well.  Freeze after the first coating of sugar, then coat again right before serving.


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