Saturday, 28 July 2012

Margarita Cookies

I had to laugh one day when I was sitting in class. I don't actually remember what was being discussed exactly, it probably was about an upcoming exam and what you should do in order to get the best possible mark. Well, all I remember was the instructor blurting out that she really liked chocolate and tequila. While I didn't agree with her on many points that she discussed in class, I do have to agree with that statement. It wasn't the only time I've had an instructor give a hint on how to boost your exam mark. One time in high school the teacher said she like Reese's and so the next test we wrote one guy in the class stapled a King Size Pack of the chocolates onto his test before he handed it in. I wonder how that turned out for him?

So, as you can probably figure out, these cookies were a good match for me. Unfortunately, I started making them and really didn't have all the ingredients and I'm not talking about sugar or flour. I mean, my limes were all the colours of the rainbow (1 was green, 2 were yellow and 2 where purple), so I salvaged the one that still looked like a normal lime and added in some lemons as substitute. Unfortunately it seems that every time I go to make something with lemons I have limes, and vice versa. I also didn't think I had any oranges, but then I found some satsumas in the bottom of our citrus bucket. Well, I don't think satsumas really zest very well to begin with, and these ones were pretty ripe so they would have nothing to do with zesting. Then I realized I'd taken my tequila to the cabin and left it there. So I replaced that with Triple Sec.

All in all, these cookies are more like citrus shortbread than Margarita Cookies. But, I really wanted to make them for the weekend and this was the last chance I was going to have to get in the kitchen so I had to settle for these changes. I'm going to post both what I did and what the original recipe was, because I really liked the flavour of what I ended up with, but would still like to try the lime and tequila pairing just to see what that's all about. What I ended up with was a citrusy sugar cookie / shortbread like cookie that was perfectly bite size and yummy. And by bite size I mean extremely tiny (smaller than even my small cookies I make), but that's okay right?

One final note, I found the directions on this recipe really wordy and so I really was just scanning through looking for what I knew should have been there. This caused one problem and I beg you not to repeat my mistake. The recipe said place cookies on a lined baking sheet. I didn't do this. I never line my sheets as I've never had a problem with them. Sometimes I don't even grease them when called for, because things just seem to come off of them easily. Anyway, don't make this mistake. Please, please, please GREASE the cookie sheet. Because these cookies are brushed with egg yolk and then rolled in sugar, the edges caramelized onto the sheets and I could not get them to come off. The first 3 or 4 slid off perfectly when I pulled the trays from the oven and quickly scooped them off, but they cooled (and hardened) quickly after that and it was the point of no return. I ate a lot of part cookies as I was trying to  transfer them to racks, and I made a huge mess. So again, GREASE your cookie sheets. That's all.

I got this recipe from All Things Yummy and it looks like the recipe originally came from Dorie Greenspan's Sables au Citron but Smitten Kitchen adapted it to what it is today. How's that for a credit? Whew!

I'm going to put the original recipe in black, and what I used instead beside in green for easy reference.

Makes: 5 1/2 Dozen


1 C. Butter
2/3 C. Icing Sugar, sifted
2 Egg Yolks, at room temp.
Pinch of Salt
2 Tsp. Tequila (4 Tsp. Triple Sec)
Zest of 2 Limes (1 Lime)
Zest of 1/2 Orange (3 Lemons)
2 C. All-Purpose Flour

1/2 C. Clear Sanding or other course sugar (1/3 C. White Sugar)
2 Tsp. Flaky Maldon Sea Salt (1 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt)


~GREASE cookie sheets.
~Put the butter in mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
~Add in the sifted icing sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
~Beat in 1 of the egg yolks (reserving the other for later), salt, tequila and zest.
~Beat in flour just until the flour disappears.
~Divide the dough into 3 balls and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
~Form each ball of dough into a log that is approximately 1 - 1 1/4 inches thick.
~Wrap the logs in plastic and chill again for 2 hours (1 hour).
~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Combine your two ingredients for the coating.
~Beat your remaining egg yolk.
~Brush logs of dough lightly with the egg yolk and then roll in the sugar coating. (I found it easiest to do both the brushing and the rolling on a spare cookie sheet. Then to press the coating in I transferred the log to another piece of plastic and rolled it up sushi making style and pressed the coating in this way.)
~With a sharp knife, slice each log into cookies (about 1/4" thick) and place on the cookie sheets.
~Bake for ~8 minutes or until edges where the egg coating is starts to turn golden but the rest of the cookie is still light.
~Remove trays from oven and pull cookies off right away.


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