So I just caught Jose staring at me again. Really. I’m just sitting here minding my own business and my old friend, Mr. Cuervo, just won’t leave me be. Well, maybe it’s actually like my eyes keep going to him. Hmmm… perhaps it’s a reflection of the kind of day I’ve had. I was in the Target (need I say more…) and unbeknownst to me, it was “take your shrilly shrieking kids shopping with you” day. Yeah, you know what I mean. The good Lord hasn’t blessed us with children yet, so I’m not sure about this theory, but I think the folks to whom those little pterodactyls belong eardrums have already toughened up…or perhaps split. Maybe there is some sort gene that clicks on once you’ve become a parent that involves a personal sound dampening field. I don’t know, but they don’t seem to hear them wailing their way up and down the aisles like a banshee choir. Those of us without the little buggers at home are a bit more sensitive to their cacophony of sounds and react accordingly by reaching for the tequila.
That being said, I do really seem to be craving something citrus-y, sweet and salty. Maybe I should just give in and whip up a Margarita, right now at a mere 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s a thought…be then again, perhaps I could be a bit more crafty about my alcohol consumption – mind you, not that I have a problem or anything – still appearances must be kept up, if you know what I mean. I think I’ll just grab that bottle of Cuervo Gold and make up a batch of Margarita Cookies. Everyone has a little coffee/cookie break in the middle of the afternoon right? Nothin wrong with that!
These cookies have a medicinal quality about them. They contain that most special of nerve soothing ingredients, namely tequila. And they are also delightfully filled with lime and orange flavours and coated with sanding sugar and Maldon sea salt. Yum! Salty sweet shortbread-like cookies! They really hit the spot. Definitely improved my outlook on life in general. Perhaps these cookies mood boosting properties were enhanced somewhat when I sampled a shot or two of the tequila before mixing it into the recipe. Hey! Every good cook tastes things along the way. Am I right? Anyway, I think you’ll find these cookies quite refreshing! Give them a try today and avoid Target as best you can.
recipe from: Smitten Kitchen
yield: 40 cookies
- 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons tequila
- Grated zest of 2 limes
- Grate zest of half an orange
- 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
- 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt
Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you'd see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.