I don’t make cookies as often as you might expect–for someone who blogs a lot about baking, if you poke around here enough you’ll note that my posts on this topic are scant. It’s probably just a matter of taking the easy way out–I just prefer something I can stir together and dump into a pan all at one go. (So when I figured out that you can basically bake muffins as a quick bread, you can guess what happened).
However, I did sign up for the Modern Baker Challenge, and a few weeks ago, you might just recall, was Christmas, so it’s practically obligatory to turn a few batches of cookies out of the oven. With no particular plan in mind I leafed through my second copy of the Modern Baker down in DC. (It’s not because I’m obsessed that I have a spare: Nick Malgieri was kind enough to send all us participants a personalized signed copy so I now have two, which turned out to be quite convenient). I paused at the page for the lime-scented wafers–citrusy, simple, with a single batch turning out enough to feed a crowd, this seemed like the perfect option.
This is nothing more than a basic roll cookie–formed into a tube, chilled, and sliced–scented with lime juice, coated in lime zest and sugar crust. Pretty simple, but like many things that are simple, difficult to get absolutely perfect. Aesthetically at least. It might be failure begetting failure, with me making bar cookies too infrequently to get the technique down, but my carefully rolled cylinders always emerge from the fridge flattened at the base. So instead of crisp little cookie disks I get something looking either like a deflated tire or worse, a badly drawn rectangle. I tried to smoosh them back into the desired shape as I placed them one by one onto the baking sheet but it got to be tedious, and with the dough softening more and more I wasn’t improving matters. For those of you baking along, I also ended up using only about half of the lime sugar coating. I meant to find some creative use for it, but with kitchen real estate being very tight in a full house, down the garbage disposal it eventually went. If you make these, I’d say you only need half the quantity called for.
Fortunately, I am not a professional baker, and my in-laws are not so fussy about the details as long as the cookie tastes as it should. (Substance over form here, people). Crisp and fragrant, with a crunchy sugar edge, it was a welcome component of my husband’s family’s traditional “Platter of Sin.” They softened a bit after a few days, but were still being happily nibbled on.
So while these cookies were definitely not a disappointment (and there was an impressive quantity of them), I’d still say I have to work out a few kinks before I become a cookie-making superhero. In the meantime, if there’s any secret tricks you’d care to share, I’m all ears.
I leave you with a shot of the infamous Platter of Sin. And be assured, that’s only a small portion of it, lest you have any fears that it’s not sinful enough.