Back on January first of this year, I proclaimed 2012 to be "the year of quiet domesticity," and I resolved both to cook more at home and to try more new recipes. For eleven months, I have steadily chipped away at that resolution, and today I am proud to announce that I have cleared one hundred new recipes from my cooking queue!
Given that I have shared more cookie recipes on this blog than any other type of food in the past three and a half years, it seems somehow appropriate that the hundredth new recipe I tried this year was one for cookies. Considering it's the middle of November, and we're about to leave for a week-long vacation, I'm actually way behind on testing new cookie recipes for this year. Without coworkers to share them with, however, my heart really wasn't in it until I found out about my new job. Since I'm going to be starting tomorrow, I thought maybe I would celebrate my first day with some cookies.
Even though I haven't been baking, I've still been searching for potential recipes for this year's Cookie Bonanza, and this year I've found myself in the market for a new citrus-themed cookie. I've done lemon cookies for three out of the past four years (the first year, I didn't really focus on having a decent representation of different flavors in my assortment), and the last two years I've tossed in an orange-plus-other-fruit cookie for good measure. What I'd never done before was a lime cookie to represent the citrus family, so I was focusing my efforts there.
While I have a formidable collection of cookie books sitting on my bookshelf, I'd checked out a copy of Nick Malgieri's Cookies Unlimited from the library, since I had such good luck last year with his tangy, zippy lemon ginger bars. I found several inspiring recipes within its pages that I wanted to try, but the one that moved to the top of my list featured lime and macadamia nuts.
It didn't seem like an immediately obvious pairing to me, which is part of why it interested me, but both ingredients have tropical connotations, so I figured I'd give it a try. The cookies were very simple to make, emerging from the oven as a sort of hybrid between a sugar cookie and a shortbread. They didn't really scream "Lime!" like I had hoped they would; instead, they had more of a slightly tart, vaguely citrusy quality that balanced the sugar, but did little more. I might have chopped the macadamia nuts a little too finely as well, because they enhanced the already butter-forward character of the cookies, but didn't contribute as much texture or visual interest as I would have liked.
I suspect these cookies might be a little better with some grated lime zest, which would add a nice pop of color, but I don't really have the time to try it and find out. They weren't bad cookies by any stretch of the imagination, just subtle ones, and the Cookie Bonanza is a place for big, dramatic flavors. Only the best for my friends and family!
Macadamia Lime Cookies
adapted from Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
4 tablespoons strained lime juice
3 oz. macadamia nuts, chopped, but not ground in a food processor
sugar for rolling the cookies before baking
Preheat the oven to 350.
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir well to mix.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Lower the speed and beat in half the lime juice, then half the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Beat in the remaining lime juice, then the remaining flour.
3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough.
4. Place the sugar for rolling the cookies in a shallow bowl. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring spoon to scoop out the dough into equal pieces. Roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then roll the ball through the sugar. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving two inches between each cookie.
5. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until they are golden and firm. Slide the papers from the pans to racks and cool completely.