Thursday, December 22, 2011

More cookies (no eggs)



Christmas cookies are my favorite to make for the holidays, and here are more for you.  While talking about my cookie baking, I found out this person could never eat cookies because she's allergic to eggs, so I found some cookie recipes that did not have eggs in them. Come to find out Lime Meltaways, one of my must have cookies, is perfect, and last week I happen to see a recipe for shortbread on the show Sweet Dreams.
The shortbread also reminds me of Salvadoran cookies made from rice flour, and I will be making these more often. Not only are they easy, they are so tasty. Enjoy!

LIME MELTAWAYS
Makes about 3 dozen

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
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BROWN SUGAR SHORTBREAD
Makes about 15 cut-out cookies and scraps
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10 by 14 1/2-inch sheet pan (with sides) with parchment or waxed paper.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until soft and smooth. Add the brown sugar and mix until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and cornstarch. Add to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it 5 to 10 times, just to smooth the dough.
Reflour your work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit the sheet pan. To transfer to the sheet pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, lift it up, and unroll into the pan. Using light strokes of the rolling pin, roll the dough evenly into the corners and edges of the pan, and roll out any bumps. (Or, press the rolled-out dough thoroughly into the pan with your fingers.) Prick the shortbread all over with a fork to prevent any buckling or shrinking.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the pan and knock it once against the oven rack, to ensure even cooking and a flat surface. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until very lightly browned.
Immediately sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the surface. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut into 1 1/2 by 3-inch bars or used shaped cookie cutters. Let cool completely in the pan, then store in an airtight container.

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