This is my mother-in-law’s (Pat’s) shortbread recipe. I must confess that I’ve never had rice flour when needed (for this recipe), so I skimp. Sorry, Pat. But I must say that these tasted pretty yum without it so, if ya don’t have it, no sweat! (but invest in some rice flour for tempura and other uses if you can) These were made using citrus sugar (which is so easy to make!), which added the aroma and texture that the topping sugar needed. Let’s get started.
Lime Shortbread Cookies
Good shortbread is crunchy, buttery and slightly sugary, but not overly so. This version add a refreshing hint of lime to enhance the simple purity of these little gems. Make, pat yourself on the back and try to share with others.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter + 1 stick margarine, softened not melted (no, I’m not kidding)
1/2 + 1/3 cup granulated/white sugar
2 TB rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
small bowl, citrus grater/microplane, medium bowl, spoon, hands, 2 baking sheets, oven, cooling rack
step one: Preheat oven to 300. In the small bowl, grate the entire lime. Divide the zest in half. In the medium bowl, combine flours, butter/margarine, half of the zest and 1/2 cup sugar. Combine until a soft dough forms without any bumps. (I use a spoon for a minute and then use my hands for the rest of the time.)
step two: Make the lime sugar. Using 1/3 cup sugar, press the rest of the lime zest into the sugar. Mix with hands until the sugar and zest are combined and the zest oils have incorporated into the sugar. Set aside for sprinkling.
step three: On a baking sheet (you can spray or parchment it, but there’s so much butter in these little thangs, no need, really.), take 1-2 TB of dough and form “ladyfinger” shapes with hands. Line up on the baking pan and sprinkle with the lime sugar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until SLIGHTLY brown on the cookie edges and the middle is solid (no give when you touch it).
step three: Let cool on pan for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.
OPTIONAL step four: In a small ramekin or bowl, heat 1/2 cup chocolate chips in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between. When the cookies have cooled for at least 15 minutes, dip one end of the cookie in the chocolate dip. Let cool for 15 more minutes on rack or refrigerate.
So there you have it…lime shortbread. Of course, you can mix it up with lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangelo, or mandarin zest as well. Enjoy while they last, and well done to the graduate(s) in your life!