Key Lime Sparkler Cookies

September 23, 2016

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So wait…..is summer really over? I know yesterday was technically the first day of Fall but it still feels pretty summery around here. Actually, it finally feels what I dream summer will feel like but rarely does here in good old swampy Virginia. A typical summertime day around here involves an oppressive haze of thick soupy humidity laden air sitting on top of ridiculously elevated temperatures. But yesterday and today, the first two days of Fall, feel pretty idyllically summery. Hmmm…. Well, before the temperature actually does fall around here, let me get in one more summer time taste treat…Key Lime Sparkler Cookies.

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There is a burst of refreshing lime flavor in every single bite of these light and tender tea cookies. Quite similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes, these little buttery cookies pack quite a mouth-puckering tart punch followed by a sweet shower of sugar. Sweet & Sour – what a divine flavor combination!

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Now there are a few ingredients involved here that may give you some pause. Don’t fret, there is an easy work around for most of them. The first thing you may ask is – do I really need to use Key Limes or can I use regular old limes. Most of the limes you find in the local grocery store are Persian Limes or Mexican Limes. They are a good deal bigger than a Key Lime. However, Key Limes are known for their aromatic and much more…well…limey taste.They are more intense in flavor than your ordinary lime. That being said, they are also much more expensive and filled with many more seeds, making them a bit more difficult to work with. Truth be told, I resorted to a bottle of Key Lime Juice, which I keep handy for a certain cocktail that we love. However, if you don’t have access to Key Limes, or bottled Key Lime Juice, using regular limes in this recipe will be just fine. The second ingredient that you might find odd is Lime Oil. I do have a link for where you can purchase lime oil at the bottom of the post. It is a great thing to have on hand especially if you love that zingy lime flavor. However, you can just use the zest from one or two limes in a pinch. Again, it won’t give you as intense a lime flavor, but it will still be quite tasty. Rounding out the trio of strange ingredients here is the Citric Acid or Sour Salt. Citric Acid is found naturally in citrus fruits and is widely used as a flavoring agent and is often used in canning. Again, you can just leave this out, but know that you will be sacrificing a bit of that blast of lime flavor. I do have a link for purchasing it online, but many stores that have canning supplies also sell Sour Salt. I think I have seen it in Target as well as Walmart.

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Once you’ve assembled all your ingredients, these cookies come together easy peasy. So light, so buttery and tender and wow what a citrus punch! Perfect with a cup of tea or a gin & tonic – to each his own. And although I find lime to be a particularly summery flavor, I’m a big fan anytime of year. These cookies would also be delightful for Christmas. (Maybe replace that white sanding sugar with red or green for a festive holiday look.) But whatever you do, if you are a lime fan at all, plan to make up a batch of these amazing little gems!

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Key Lime Sparkler Cookies

  • Servings: 60 - 62 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Key Lime Juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon lime oil (don’t have lime oil? Use the zest of one lime instead)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid)* OR 1/2 teaspoon Tart & Sour Flavor ( I like that limey flavor – so I used 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. of Citric Acid)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For the Coating:

  • 1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid*) – ( I used 1/4 teaspoon Citric Acid)
  • 1 cup glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white edible glitter (optional) – if you don’t have edible glitter you could also try sparkling white sanding sugar.

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder till well blended. Beat in the lime juice, lime oil, sour salt (citric acid), and the egg. Blend in the flour thoroughly.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls (I used a teaspoon cookie scoop), and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies in the top third of a preheated 350°F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are browned on the bottom. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Mix together the sugar coating ingredients in a pan or bag (a simple brown paper lunch sack works great here!). Gently shake and roll the still slightly warm cookies in the sugar till coated. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then repeat, coating again with the sugar. (If you’re freezing the cookies, you may choose to recoat the cookies in sugar once they’ve been removed from the freezer, before serving.)

*Sour salt (citric acid) is what gives the cookies their sour bite—if you want less tang, use just a pinch. Or if you are a limey fan, add a bit more!  I actually used 1/4 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon of citric acid in the cookies – which is 3x what this recipe calls for, as well as 1/4 teaspoons citric acid in the coating – doubled the recommended amount- and I thought my cookies had that perfect zing!

Enjoy!

Key Lime Sparkler Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats(www.leaandjay.com).

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Key Lime Sparkler Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice

lime oil – Here is a link for a 3 pack of lime, lemon & orange oil or you can purchase a single bottle of the lime oil here.

White Edible Glitter – or White Sparkling Sugar

Citric Acid

Small Cookie Scoop (2 3/4 – 2 tsp. /#100) or King Arthur Flour has this one.


Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

July 27, 2012

I know it wasn’t too long ago that I made that fantastic Oreo Key Lime Pie. It really was delicious and so refreshing served cold right out of the fridge. I have mentioned how outlandishly hot it is around here haven’t I? Have I gone on to tell you how much I loath Virginia in the summer? Ah-hem. Anyway…I thought that same lime-y goodness would be great, but it needed to be even colder…you know, like frozen!

Lucky me, I stumbled upon a great recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream over at Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. Let me just take a moment to tell you that Tracey’s Culinary Adventures truly are fantastic. She is on fire! You just have to take a peek at her blog. Just recently I’ve posted three delicious recipes I’ve found there: Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits, Blueberry Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes and now this Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. Everything so far has been absolutely to die for! Really…you have to go see for yourself. And there is a new recipe posted nearly every day! How amazing! Where does she find the time! But back to this gorgeous Key Lime Pie Ice Cream…

This ice cream comes together very easily. Although the recipe does not call for it, when I make ice cream I generally do it in a two day process. On the first day I mix up the ingredients and then let them sit in the refrigerator overnight, so that the mixture is good and chilled. I then pop it in the ice cream maker the next day and let it churn away before I put it in the freezer for an hour or so before I plan to serve it. However, this recipe only calls for you to chill the ingredients for a few hours before churning. You can help it chill quicker by placing it in an ice cube bath while in the refrigerator. Believe me, you will be happy with the results. This ice cream is smooth and creamy and has that refreshing lime zing. The graham crackers, which are swirled through the ice cream as well as sprinkled over the top, are very remniscent of the namesake pie and provide a great crunchy texture. And like all ice cream, it is nice and cold. Just what I want and need from a dessert at this time of the year. It makes these intolerable temps just a bit more tolerable. How much longer is it ’til Fall? Hmmm…I suppose I can just kick back and eat a bit more of my Key Lime Pie Ice Cream while I wait.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers, plus extra for garnish
  • Key lime wedges, for optional garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk the whole milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until the mixture is very cold, at least a few hours.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the last minute of churning, add the crushed graham crackers. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour. Garnish with additional crushed graham crackers and lime wedges before serving.

Enjoy! – and try to stay cool!


Oreo Key Lime Pie

June 18, 2012

All those Meyer Lemon dishes that I just did recently got me thinking about summer-y citrus desserts. Key Lime Pie quickly came to mind. Key Limes are found throughout the Florida Keys. They are smaller than the usual Persian Limes you find in the grocery store. Their pale yellow hued juice is also more tart and they are more aromatic than other limes. I picked up a bag of them last week and decided to whip up a pie.

Key Lime Pies usually have a graham cracker crust, which I was all ready to do. But then I spied that bag of Oreo Cookies just staring right back at me. I couldn’t resist them and ended up going with a Oreo Cookie Crust instead of the traditional graham cracker. The crust came together very easily, just popped those cookies in the old food processor, gave them a few whirrs, added some melted butter, pressed the butter/crumb mixture into the pie plate and baked for 10 minutes. That sorted, I turned to making the filling. Let me say right now, I am proud that I actually did take the time to juice fresh key limes for this pie. I feel it gave me more of the authentic key lime pie making experience (though come to think of it,  I didn’t crush the cookies by hand and didn’t feel that gave me less of an authentic cookie pie crust making experience. Hmmm…) That being said, I don’t know if I would do it this way again. I had to juice like 18 of those little guys to get 1/2 cup of juice. I hear they sell bottled Key Lime Juice. Awesome! Sounds like a great time saver to me for next time. However, if you are looking to do an act of penance, perhaps juicing key limes would be just the thing for it. Other than the juice issue, the filling comes together very easily as well. You bake the pie for 15-20 minutes and then refrigerate it for at least one hour before you wish to serve it.

We were quite pleased with this pie. The crunchy, sweet Oreo Cookie Crust went along wonderfully with the creamy sweet and tart lime filling. On a hot, humid summer day, as so many of them are around these parts, there is nothing more refreshing than a thick slice of chilled Key Lime Pie topped with freshly whipped cream.

Oreo Key Lime Pie

yield: 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 32 Oreo cookies, crumbled
  • 7 Tablespoons Butter
  • 14 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed Key Lime Juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°  F.

Mix Oreo cookie crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8-inch pie dish. Bake crust for 10 minutes, rotating half way through baking. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well.  Pour  mixture into cooled Oreo cookie shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight before serving.

Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Enjoy!


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