Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Margarita Lime Cookies

by Darla

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today, in America, we celebrate Mexican heritage. It’s such a fun chance to make delicious mexican food and drink lots of margaritas! But, seeing as it’s also a Wednesday, and most of us still have to work and take care of our families, drinking cold margaritas all day isn’t really an option. Enter the margarita cookie. What started out as a pretty boring, plain lime cookie, I have transformed into a soft, sweet and tart, delicious reminder of our favorite Cinco mixed drink! And, one of the best parts is that it can be made vegan! Most importantly, they’re fast – a total of about 30 minutes for mixing, baking, and frosting, minus cooling time.

I tweaked this recipe from a lime cookie recipe I found on a cooking site that I visit regularly. The original cookies were…meh. They were a little bland, with the main flavor just being sweet. With a citrus cookie, I was hoping for something a little more tart. I played around with it a bit, adding more lime juice, and I definitely liked it more than when I started, but it was still missing something.

The original recipe had a basic glaze that was brushed on when the cookies were cool. The glaze itself was nice, sweet and tart, but it just wasn’t enough for the cookies. These bake up more than most cookies, and are thick and soft. The glaze just didn’t do enough for them, so I decided they needed full on frosting.

I experiments with my favorite buttercream recipe, but it kept coming out a little on the greasy side. I turned to some of my favorite cookbooks to see what I could do. In one of them, I found a lovely buttercream frosting that used half shortening. Normally, I would think that’s counterintuitive to fight greasiness, but it actually gave the frosting a little more structure. Things had come together nicely, but let’s face it, these were still just lime cookies. Out came the tequila, and these became what I was hoping for!

For the cookies, you need an egg (ground flax seeds and water for vegan cookies), baking powder, finely grated lime zest, baking soda, lemon juice, sugar, milk (soy for vegan cookies), butter or margarine, and flour. To make these true margarita cookies, add tequila. I skipped it in this particular batch, but it’s very yummy either way.

To get started, line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat sheets.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the lime juice, zest, and milk (and tequila, if using); mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the wet ingredients; stir until combined. Sprinkle the rest of the dry ingredients on top and mix until combined.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between the cookies. Bake for at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are somewhat firm. Allow to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Just look at how light these cookies are! And check out that zest! I love how pretty those green bits look in these lovely little cookies!

While the cookies cool, we can mix up the frosting. I have to say that this is one of my favorite frostings ever. Ever. But I’m a citrus fan, so I may be biased. You need softened butter or margarine, vanilla, finely grated lime zest, lime juice, confectioners’ sugar, and shortening. Again, I chose to skip the tequila in this particular batch, but you can add some to the frosting too.

In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and margarine. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture comes together well. Stir in the vanilla and lime (as well as the tequila, if using) and beat until fluffy. Add the zest and mix well.

This recipe makes a lot of frosting, but these cookies are best with big, fluffy piles of frosting on top! I like to use every last bit of the frosting on these cookies, but like I said, this is one of my favorite frostings ever!

I need to warn you before you make these. They are addicting. It is practically impossible to stop eating them. And they are twice as good the next day! They keep beautifully in an airtight container for about four days, but they are best on the first two days. These take hardly any time at all to make and are worth every second, so try them out! You’ll be very glad you did! Enjoy!

Margarita Lime Cookies with Margarita Buttercream Frosting
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIES:
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup milk (soy or rice for vegan)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, plus 3 tablespoons water for vegan)
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

FOR THE FROSTING:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat sheets.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the lime juice, zest, and milk (and tequila, if using); mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the wet ingredients; stir until combined. Sprinkle the rest of the dry ingredients on top and mix until combined.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between the cookies. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are somewhat firm. Allow to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Cream together the shortening and margarine. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture comes together well. Stir in the vanilla and lime (and tequila, if using) and beat until fluffy. Add the zest and mix well. Frost cookies with a generous amount of frosting.

Cookie recipe by Darla, frosting recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Audrey Amaro May 5, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Ooh I want to try them!! I love margaritas!! Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

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2 bttrflybabydoll May 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Yum! I just wanted to tell you these are awesome! I think the frosting would be good as a cream cheese frosting too! Mmmm…

Thanks!

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3 Kim - Liv Life September 30, 2010 at 1:03 am

Just saw these on Foodgawker…. absolutely my kind of cookie! Nicely done!

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4 Suzanne October 2, 2010 at 12:57 am

great food styling, the recipe looks really good too!

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5 Avonladyhb December 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I made these for my kiddos with soy milk and ener-g egg replacer. They are fantastic! Thank you for a cookie recipe the entire family loves – and one that practically forces me to sneak a sip of tequila while baking! Ha!

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6 Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) October 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Wow! This is amazing!

I wish my photography was so good.

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7 alaina December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Can this cookie be rolled and cut with a cookie cutter? Would you suggest a different baking time to do so?

Thanks!!

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8 Darla December 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hi Alaina, Yes, yyou can roll and cut these. The baking time wouldn’t change, but you will need to chill the dough for about two hours before attempting to roll it out. It will be slightly sticky, since it’s not a sugar cookie dough, so it’ll need that time to chill. And make sure your work surface is dusted nicely with flour.

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9 tracy January 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

These cookie sound amazing. Im curious as to how they would come out if i were to sub the lime juice for actual margarita mix juice….

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10 Christine April 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

What is the vegan substitute for butter? The recipe provides subs for egg and milk but still lists butter.

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11 Darla February 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I use vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance.

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12 Hallie April 19, 2012 at 5:28 am

Found this recipe on pinterest …. It is better than fantastic. These are the best cookies I hve ever tasted, seriously! Yum yum yum. I would like to share them on my blog, would that be ok? I will link back to your site and most definitely give you all the credit!

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13 christina May 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Can i decorate these with royal icing? I made a batch just plain and they were EXCELLENT! Your website is adorable!

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14 Darla May 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

You could definitely decorate them with royal icing. :)

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15 Melanie February 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I just made these for a party and they were AWESOME! I did tweak the recipe slightly by adding 2 T tequila to round out the 1/4c lime juice and a little orange zest and extract for a triple sec-like boost! The frosting really makes these cookies shine!

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