Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Citrus Sparkles

I saw this recipe from Bakingdom a few weeks back and knew I just HAD to make them.  I'm a huge fan of citrus foods and drinks.  I just LOVE the way lemon and lime smell up the kitchen and the whole house! These citrus sparkles were a huge hit at a family gathering over the weekend.  I just know I'll be making them again before summer ends. This time we didn't use the glaze, but I know that next time it'll be a must. Enjoy!

Summer Citrus Sparkles 
Makes 2 dozen
FOR THE CITRUS SUGAR (excellent in tea!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for vegan/dairy free, replace with 1 tablespoon corn starch)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (for vegan/dairy free version, increase to 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (for vegan/dairy free, replace with 3 tablespoons almond or soy milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To make the sugar: Combine the sugar and both zest in a small bowl until the zest is evenly distributed; set aside.
To make the cookies: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined, then stir in both zests and juices, as well as the vanilla. Once everything is combined, sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top and gently mix in. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour, as needed, until the dough is barely tacky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Once the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll one tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Roll each dough ball in the citrus sugar to coat it completely, then evenly space the cookies on the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn light golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before serving.
Glaze Variation (I prefer them this way, but there is more work involved)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Make the citrus sugar and the cookie dough the same way. **Do not roll the cookies in the sugar before baking.**
While the cookies are baking, combine the sugar and the juices in a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and continue simmering until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Once the cookies have cooled for at least 5 minutes, generously brush the tops of the muffins with the citrus glaze. Once all of the cookies are glazed, dip each one into the citrus sugar, being sure to get them covered well.
Recipe by Darla

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