June 18, 2011

Chewy Lime Sugar Cookies

My nieces are on break from school and their mom has been taking them on various day trips to local cities and attractions before the start of summer camp.  One such journey was with me to Sausalito, a quaint town just north of San Francisco.  

The kids have been wanting to go on a cruise for some time but since that wasn't in the cards this year my sister-in-law thought the ferry ride from San Francisco would suffice.  The girls seemed to enjoy the ride, but I think they were more interested in the picnic lunch we brought along. 

Sophie was anxious to tuck in to the huge sugar cookie she got as her dessert from the deli.   I admit, it was a pretty good cookie.  But being the baker that I am, and a competitive person at that, I wasn't going to let some store bought version outdo me.

This Cook's Illustrated recipe for chewy sugar cookies is one I've been wanting to make for a while, but I wasn't motivated until I saw Sophie enjoying her cookie.  I made a variation of the recipe by adding lime zest and lime juice which gives the cookie a nice twist.   When Sophie tried these they got the thumbs up.

Chewy Lime Sugar Cookies (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

2 1/4cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese , cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lime juice

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

Place 1½ cups sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.

Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.


  1. Very inspiring blog and great photos!

  2. I love your blog - these look so tasty!

  3. Hmmmm - these look and sound amazing. I make a version of these with added toasted coconut. Make sure to give that a try. They are absolutely glorious.


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