Who am I kidding here? This is actually the culmination of a FEW days' work. It's been a baking marathon around my kitchen this week.
I wish I could report that I'm doing all this baking for a happy reason. Unfortunately, that's not the case. A dear friend unexpectedly lost her father last week so I volunteered to bake for the reception to celebrate his life. Oh, how I wish I could make everything okay for her instead! My heart hurts as I write this. I hit the kitchen with a vengeance. It's what I know. It's what I do. It's what I can give.
You, of course, are the beneficiaries of all this baking. I'm about to post some good recipes here. Like most everything else I do though, this got a little out of hand. I was just going to bake some Brown Sugar Shortbread, but then I remembered how much my friend loves those Lime Cornmeal Cookies we used to make at Star. Okay, add that to the mix. Then I thought about Pecan Bars - everyone always loves these when I make them and they have a sort of homemade, warm and fuzzy "wonderfulness" about them. Okay. Add those as well. This is still manageable, right?
Except I didn't stop there. What a perfect opportunity to make my mother-in-law's Ruggelach (which I promised to post in a previous entry). But now I need something chocolate! Hmmm - chocolate chip cookies are good, but that seemed a little ordinary. Wait - let's make Elise's Mocha Chip Cookies!
From there it morphed into English Toffee with Fleur de Sel because I saw my chiropractor and she raved about how much she loved the tin of them I gave her last Christmas and how she ate the whole thing herself. Why on earth didn't I think to include them? Ka-ching!
Lastly, I thought maybe, just maybe there should also be some biscotti. Mostly because I love the stuff. Of course, I used Andy's Biscotti recipe which he used to make and sell when he was twelve (it's really, really good) but that deserves a separate post. Suffice it to say it became the last (and final!) addition to my rapidly expanding menu.
So first up are Lime Cornmeal Cookies. I know ... the name isn't very enticing but don't let that get in your way. These are sweet, but not too sweet, tangy with the taste of lime but tempered with the addition of almond extract. And the cornmeal gives them a wonderful texture. We sold A LOT of these when I
worked at Star Provisions.
LIME CORNMEAL COOKIES (adapted from Martha Stewart's "Cookies")
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 extra-large egg
4 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
In electric mixer fitted with gthe paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until very light and fluffy; about 5 minutes. Scrape down bowl several times. Add egg, lime zest, lime juice and almond extract and beat until blended.
With mixer on low speed, add flour and cornmeal. Beat until just incorporated; do not overbeat.
Turn dough out on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk, wrap well and chill until dough is firm. Using a small ice cream scoop, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment and place tray in freezer. Freeze overnight or indefinitely until you are ready to bake the cookies.
To bake cookies, place them 2 inches apartment on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking sheet. Bake in oven preheated to 350-degrees for 12 - 15 minutes or until just beginning to color. Cool on a wire rack, then spoon glaze over tops of cookies, allowing it to run down the sides. Let glaze set then store cookies in an airtight container for up to one week.
Yield: 48 cookies
For the glaze:
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Place confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl. Add about half of the lime juice and blend well, adding more lime juice as needed to make a pourable glaze.
I'll get the rest of those recipes posted here in the next couple of days. BTW, you already have the ones for English Toffee with Fleur de Sel (posted December 14, 2009) and Brown Sugar Shortbread (posted October 2, 2009). Happy baking, y'all!