Tart Lime Wafers

This recipe comes from my friend Tim Brennan, chef-owner of Cravings Gourmet Desserts in Saint Louis. Tim is justly well known for his excellent cookies and these are no exception. They’re also practical since you can freeze the formed logs of dough for weeks and then slice and bake the cookies whenever you need them.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large limes removed with a Microplane grater
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks/350grams) unsalted butter, cut into 24 pieces
  • 2 large eggs

Lime Sugar Coating

  • cups plain or green crystal sugar or granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 large lime removed with a Microplane grater
  • 4 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil

Method

  1. For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and lime zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse 10 times to reduce the zest to smaller particles.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until it is completely mixed into the dry ingredients, but the mixture remains powdery. Add the eggs and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Invert the food processor bowl over a floured work surface to turn out the dough. Carefully remove the blade and transfer any dough on it to the work surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form each into a cylinder about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
  4. Clean any flour off the work surface and combine the crystal sugar and lime zest, working it together with your finger-tips for 1 minute to release the lime flavor into the sugar. Pour the sugar onto the work surface in a wide line about 8 inches (20 cm) long. Roll one of the logs of dough in it to coat the outside completely. Repeat with the other log of dough. Wrap each log of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  6. Cut one of the logs of dough into ¼-inch (6-mm) thick slices and arrange them on the prepared pans about 1 inch ( cm) apart on all sides. Repeat with the second log of dough, or wrap, freeze, and save it for another day.
  7. Bake the cookies until they are firm and golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans from back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation. Slide the papers off the pans to cool the cookies. If you only have one more pan of cookies to bake, readjust one of the racks to the middle level.

Storage

Keep the cookies at room temperature between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Variations

Substitute lemon zest for the lime zest and yellow sugar for the green, if you are using colored sugar crystals.

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