Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or as my friend Steph calls it, Cinco de Drinko. That rhyme amuses me greatly. Anyhoodle, I will not be drinko-ing it up today, but I did make these delicious little margarita-themed cookies for a lunch event at work.
These are just a simple butter sable cookie dressed up with tequila, lime, and a crunchy sugar-salt coating. The texture of the cookies is soft and crumbly, and the tang from the lime is perfectly matched by the salty-sweet coating. For those of you who relish that blissful pairing of sugar and salt, these are sublime. Finally, while the slice-and-bake cookies aren’t very labor-intensive, the dough requires a good couple hours of chilling time, so keep that in mind if you set out to prepare these.
A few notes before we begin:
* The dough will be sticky when you roll it into logs. Don’t worry — just pull at it gently until you get a roll about 1.5 inches in thickness. Use plastic wrap to help if you need to. (Make sure it’s a large piece, b/c these logs end up pretty long.)
* I used coarse demerara sugar for the coating, and it ended up melting and sticking a bit to the cookie sheets after I let the cookies cool on there. I had a few crumbled casualties in my first batch of cookies, but with the second batch, I removed them while they were still warm and had no issues. If you use parchment paper to line your cookie sheets (I had run out), you shouldn’t have this problem.
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 5 dozen
For cookies —
1 C. unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 C. powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk, at room temp.
2 t. tequila
grated zest from two limes
grated zest from half an orange
pinch of salt
2 C. flour
For coating —
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 C. coarse sugar
2 t. flaky sea salt (I used Maldon brand)*
*Note: If you don’t have flaky sea salt, just use 1 tsp. regular table salt.
Using a mixer (or your strong arms), beat the butter on medium speed until it is creamy and pale. Add the powdered sugar and beat until very smooth. Add the yolk, then mix in the tequila, zest, and pinch of salt. Reduce mixer to low and stir in flour just until incorporated. Mix in any remaining streaks of flour with a spatula. (You don’t want to overmix here — gently mixing the flour keeps the texture of the cookies light.)
Divide dough into two equal halves and wrap each in plastic. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Shape each dough half into a log with a diameter about 1 – 1.5 inches around. Wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (Do ahead: dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month.)
For the coating and baking: Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the sugar and salt and spread it on a long sheet of plastic wrap. Unwrap the chilled dough and brush with egg yolk. Lay the dough on the sugar-salt mixture and roll it through. I found it helpful to fold the plastic wrap over the top of the dough and roll that way to get the sugar mixture to adhere.
Once coated, slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place 1/2-inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 13 – 15 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not browned. Remove warm cookies to a cooling rack.