Thursday, April 2, 2015

Springtime Treat: Meltaway Lime Shortbread Cookies

Citrus tastes like spring. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's just that the fresh flavor burst is reminiscent of colorful bulbs popping open to color our world.

Anyway, these Meltaway Lime Shortbread Cookies are a tasty way to add that bright citrus flavor to your Easter dessert table. Lemon or orange juice and corresponding zest could easily be substituted, if those are more to your liking.

I have lots of tools taking up space in my kitchen drawers, some of which I never use. (Sad, but true.) But a microplane zester is worth the real estate it occupies. It makes zesting easy and gets the flavorful zest while leaving the bitter white "pith" behind. (The zester is pictured in the photo above.)

These are not cookies built to travel through the mail. They are delicate, buttery cookies that tend to be fragile. But it's worth the "handle with care" designation for the yummy taste. As long as you let them cool completely before frosting, they should stay together fine. Now, I'm not saying that we didn't sample one or two when they were warm.

The cookies themselves aren't particularly sweet, but the glaze packed with more juice and zest adds just the right tart-sweet mix.  I added a little more Easter finery with holiday sprinkles. It is the season for Easter bonnets, you know!
Meltaway Lime Shortbread Cookies
with Lime Glaze
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
I cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. finely-grated lime zest
Lime Glaze
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime zest

Combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt; set aside.

Cream butter in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides of bowl occasionally. When the butter is thoroughly whipped and smooth, slowly add in dry ingredients, along with juice and zest. Mix just until dough comes together.

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheets. (Either spray with cooking spray or use parchment paper.) If you like puffy cookies, leave as is. If you prefer a flatter cookie, press down lightly.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Remove to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting with lime glaze.

For glaze:  Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon about a teaspoon of glaze on each cookie and gently spread around until the cookie is coated. If you want to add holiday sprinkles, do so while the glaze is still wet. Let the glaze set for approximately 30 minutes.

Store in an airtight container. Cookies are very tender, so handle carefully.

When I was in Topeka last week, Kinley and I made Noodle Nests for an Easter treat. They are a cute addition to any Easter dessert table. It's OK to let kids play with their food - really!

Use Peeps along with candy eggs or just make a nest of eggs. Either way is cute.
Looking for other Easter treats? Try these:

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