Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Candied Key Lime Melt Away Cookies

When I first made the Key Lime Melt Away Cookies yesterday, they had great flavor, but their appearance is just too boring for me. I saved the second roll of dough and decided to brainstorm for a new cookie appearance. I still had some key limes left over, so I immediately thought I should candy slices of lime and press them into the cookie dough, and then bake them. I first blanched the lime slices, to remove the bitterness, and then let the blanched slices simmer in a simple syrup until it was thick and syrupy. I let the candied key lime slices dry for a day before I sliced the cookies and pressed them into the dough. The little limes look like pretty stained glass windows and give 'em some flare! The lime flavor was significantly more, so if you don't love limes as much as I do, just stick to the first recipe. Enjoy :)

Candied Key Lime Melt Away Cookies
For the Candied Lime Slices:
2 Limes, Thinly Sliced
2C Water, For Blanching
1C Water, For Candying
1 ½C Sugar, For Candying

For the Cookies:
1 ½ Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1C Confectioners’ Sugar
2 Large Limes, Zested
2T Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1T Vanilla
1 ¾C + 2T AP Flour
2T Cornstarch
¼t Salt

1. To Make the Candied Lime Slices: Thinly slice the limes (using a mandolin works best). Bring 2C of water to a boil in a large saucepan and blanch the lime slices in the hot water for 5 minutes, and then drain. In the same saucepan, whisk together the 1C water and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add in the blanched lime slices and heat until the mixture starts to boil slightly. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the lime slices uncovered for an hour. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Spray a cooling rack with Pam and place the candied lime slices in a single layer; let the slices dry for 24 hours.
2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and 1/3C of sugar until fluffy. Add the zest, juice, and vanilla, and then beat until fluffy. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
3. Between two 8x12inch pieces of parchment pepper, roll the dough into two 1-¼inch-diameter logs. Chill the logs for at least an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3C sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove the parchment from the logs and slice into ¼inch thick rounds (making sure the cookie dough rounds are slightly larger than the candied lime slices). Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets (spaced about 1 inch apart). Gently press a candied lime slice into each cookie dough circle, so that when the cookie bakes, the candied lime will bake into it.
5. Bake the cookies until barely golden, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just 3-4 minutes. While they are still warm, place the bottoms of the cookies into the leftover powdered sugar, so that they are completely covered, but do not cover the tops. Just simply sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little powdered sugar (you do not want to hide the pretty candied lime slices). 

*Check out Sweets for a Saturday for this recipe, as well as many others!!*

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