The latest Seattle storm provided a perfect, fluffy and utterly fairyland like layer of snow that blanketed the city. But it was all gone by 9am the next morning as the next wave of gray, blustery, rainy weather settled in. No matter how accustom one might get to this particularly dreary weather, it still brings you down once and a while. These margarita inspired cookies are the perfect treat to counter the winter weather. They are light and buttery, bursting with citrus flavor and rimmed with sugar. They absolutely embody the summertime spirit of the margarita as well as its classic flavors. If you close your eyes while snacking on one of these tiny cookies, you might just forget about the blustering weather outside and be momentarily transported to a warm, sandy beach in a far away place.
Margarita Cookies adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Dorie Greenspan's Sables au Citron
Note: this is a more time consuming cookie recipe than most, so be sure to plan ahead.
Makes about 50 cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, separated, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons tequila
Grated zest of 2 large limes
Grated zest of half an orange
2 cups of all-purpose flour
Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or any other coarse sugar such a turbinado
2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt
1. Beat the butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in one of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Slowly beat in the flour until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat; if the flour isn't fully incorporated, that's okay, just blend in whatever remaining flour with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it into quarters. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to three days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°.
4. While the oven is preheating, coat the logs with the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out onto a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary. Use a sharp slender knife to slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them.
5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It's fine if the edges brown a smidgen. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperatures.
Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.
*Updated to add that if you should choose to use regular table salt and not Maldon, use less! Much less. Probably half or less. Because Maldon has such volume, the equivalent amount of a finer salt would be much more pungent. Better on the safe side than sorry, right?