Monday, April 19, 2010
Busy weekend. Mother Humble's visit from London was canceled because the Eyjafjotoomanyconsonantsjkull volcaono in Iceland is filling the skies over Europe with ash. She's postponing her visit until early next month and then we're leaving to visit her a week after that.
Meaning, that volcano needs to knock this whole eruption business off.
Seriously. I want all that ash to go away. Not just at low enough levels to fly through.
I'm one of those people who truly hate flying. Even though I'm no stranger to air travel, I figure I'm doomed every time I step on a plane (I don't know how you do it Mr. P). I don't need the idea of ash filled engines fluttering through my head for the 18 hour trip.
So this weekend I spent wrapping up the French Macaron 101. Well, almost wrapped up. Midway through the last few batches baking I had lined up, I dropped my much loved kitchen scale (RIP). So Mr. Humble will be bringing one home later today so I'll pick up with the macarons tomorrow and hopefully will have everything complete soon.
Lacking the complete macaron 101, I'm falling back on some of the other treats I made this weekend. Let's see, I have ice creams, pirogi, lamb, cookies... hmm.
More specifically ice box cookies. Though I am usually not a fan of ice box cookies--is there a version of that chocolate/vanilla stripe/bull's-eye cookie that is actually edible--I do love these. A light crisp cookie with the bright flavor of fresh lime that first crumbles and then melts in your mouth.
I've been on a bit of a lime kick lately, I know.
Anyway, these cookies are great for when want cookies but don't want to cook several dozen. The dough is kept chilled in your refrigerator or freezer and all you need to do when the cookie monster strikes, is carve off a couple slices and you're ready to bake.
adapted from Cookies
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) (170) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (60g) powdered sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (274g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (18g) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 drops lime green food coloring (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy (if using a stand mixer use the whisk attachment for this step). Add the lime juice, zest and vanilla and beat the mixture until fluffy.
Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixer to the butter. Mix until combined.
Ready a two 8"x12" pieces of waxed paper or parchment. Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll into two 1.25" diameter logs. Wrap the dough tightly in the waxed paper or parchment. (The cookies pictured are slightly larger, at roughly 2" in diameter. You can also form a single 2" diameter log, but keep in mind at this size they're not sturdy enough to toss in powdered sugar.)
Chill for at least an hour before baking. The dough can keep for a couple days chilled in the refrigerator or frozen for up to two months.
When ready to bake:
Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the cookies 1/4" thick and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until they just barely start to take on some color. Allow to cool until just warm. Fill a plastic bag with a 3/4 cup powdered sugar and add a few cookies. Working in batches, toss the cookies to coat. One can also coat them by sifting sugar over the cookies.
Store the cookies for up to two weeks in an air tight container.