I found myself on Amazon.com this morning, which goes against everything I promised myself I wouldn’t do this Christmas; look for gifts for myself. But I never expected that at the same time I would be reviewing recipes from Better Homes and Gardens, a new cookie cookbook was being folded into these reviews.
As it turns out, the cookies provided in this month’s issue are provided by Nancy Baggett, an award-winning cookbook author and pastry chef. These Lime and Ginger Chewies and the Spicy Gingerbread Twigs I made last week come from her book, Simply Sensational Cookies.
So, here I am, less than two weeks before Christmas, with most of my shopping done, the majority of the house decorated, dozens of cookies stacked in tins on the counter, browsing Amazon.com for Nancy’s book. For myself.
This is actually a purchase that I’ll bet Hubby would get behind 100 percent. I know that because as he walked out the door to head for work this morning he had a handful of these cookies with him. He also made the off-hand remark that I hadn’t made nearly enough of them.
I don’t do very well with cookies that require a piping bag, a steady hand and any kind of decorating prowess. I don’t even have a lot of patience with cookies that need to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. If I get the urge to bake them, I want to mix, bake, eat. Bam.
These Lime and Ginger Chewies were made for impatient little me. They satisfy my git-er-done requirements, but even more importantly, they are infused with lime and ginger, two of my favorite flavors.
I love the fact that the sugar in which I roll the cookies has fresh ginger and lime zest mixed in. I love that there’s fresh lime juice in the cookie itself.
I love that it’s a simple dough to pull together, all done in one bowl with an electric mixer.
I love that a sprinkling of powdered sugar, green sugar and some of the leftover rolling sugar is all that’s needed as decoration.
The one thing that I had a little trouble with was the timing on the decorating sugars. If I dusted the powdered sugar immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, it dissolved. However, if I waited to add the green and rolling sugar until after the cookie cooled, it just fell off instead of sticking.
The recipe says to wait five minutes. I found 3 minutes to be about right.
I think Dudette may be the only person on the planet that doesn’t like these. I tested them on close to a dozen friends and the general response was, ‘Holy cow.’ They really are that good. The ginger isn’t overwhelming, but lets the lime shine as well. The cookie itself has the perfect amount of chewiness (lots). These are fantastic.
I think I’ll be making another batch soon.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Not a thing.
- cups granulated sugar
- tablespoons finely shredded lime peel
- tablespoon peeled minced fresh ginger
- cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and just slightly softened
- egg yolk
- tablespoons fresh lime juice
- tablespoons light-color corn syrup
- 2 - 3
- teaspoons ground ginger, to taste
- teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
- teaspoon baking soda
- teaspoon salt
- cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Finely shredded lime peel
- Coarse green sugar (optional)
- Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets; set aside.
- In a food processor combine sugar, lime peel, and fresh ginger. Cover and process for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, until ginger is completely pulverized and mixture is thoroughly blended and smooth. Reserve ½ cup; transfer to a saucer to use as garnish.
- In a large bowl combine remaining lime-sugar mixture, butter, egg yolk, lime juice, corn syrup, ground ginger, lemon extract, baking soda, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low, then medium speed, until very well blended and lightened in color, about 1½ minutes. Beat in half the flour on low speed just until evenly incorporated, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until evenly incorporated. If the dough seems too wet, stir in up to 3 tablespoons more flour; if too dry, stir in up to 1 teaspoon water.
- Shape dough into a flat disc; cut it into quarters. Divide each quarter into 11 or 12 equal portions. Shape portions into balls; roll in lime-sugar mixture and gently reshape. Space balls about 2½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten to about ⅛- to ¼-inch thickness with the bottom of a glass.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown and cookies are not quite firm when gently pressed in the center. (For chewier cookies bake slightly shorter; for crisper ones, bake slightly longer.) Let cool 5 minutes to firm up. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar; sprinkle with lime peel, and, if desired, coarse green sugar. Cool completely.
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