My best friend from childhood, Leia, is currently in Iraq serving as a medic in the National Guard. She’s been there for 3 months and (SHAME ON ME!) I haven’t even sent her a care package yet. But today that all changes. I’ve been baking up a storm in the cookie department and am ready to ship over some treats. I recently bought the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook, so I’m using this as my chance to try out some of the recipes. I just hope they survive the long postal journey across the planet!
First up – Lime melt away cookies! I’m a sucker for lime flavored things personally, and am hoping that this flavor might remind her of summertime in Florida.
The generous amounts of lime peel make it a beautiful dough. After baking, they get rolled a few times in powdered sugar which will sweeten them up and help them melt in your mouth.
And since it’s starting to feel like fall, I made some chocolate gingerbread cookies.
They got rolled in sugar before baking, to give them a nice sugar crust when they are cooled.
I’m also a sucker for the lemon and pistachio combo, so I found a chewy cookie recipe with those flavors.
But after they baked they looked a little plain, so I gave them a little extra kick with a lemon glaze.
And last, but not least – Maple Pecan Shortbread cookies. Lots of maple syrup made these a super yummy addition (in my humble opinion)…
They got topped with pecan halves and sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking. The pecans are from my uncle’s tree, just down the road from where me and Leia grew up. I haven’t lived in Alabama since 1996, but pecans still remind me of home. Hopefully they’ll do the same for Leia!
So many cookies!
And of course I included some chocolate dipped raspberry marshmallows. I had some vanilla meringue kisses lying around and tossed those in too. I found some cute polka dotted bags to wrap the cookies up in, though I didn’t think about ribbon…so they were tied with twine. I was in such a rush to get the box to the post office that I forgot to put a letter in! So hopefully this post counts as the letter. Let me know when you get your package Leia! Be safe and I love you!
RECIPES (from Martha Stewart):
KEY LIME MELTAWAYS:
12 TBSP (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.
3. Between two 8-by-12-inch pieces of parchment paper, roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.
5. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
MAPLE PECAN SHORTBREAD:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup pecan halves (about 2 1/4 ounces), finely chopped
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Into a medium bowl, sift flours and salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about one minute. Add the maple syrup, egg yolk, and extract; beat on medium speed until well combined. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Dough should be smooth and pliable. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, 1 1/2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds using a two-inch cookie cutter; place one inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg; sprinkle centers with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Sprinkle the entire surface with turbinado sugar.
- Bake cookies, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to four days.