I am the host for this month’s What’s Baking and I am SO excited to share all of the recipes with you tomorrow – so tune-in back here for some amazing recipes tomorrow.
The theme this month was “bake with fresh herbs”. My patio herb garden has exploded (except for my basil…) so I was inspired to try and use these herbs in a non-traditional way. We know that rosemary is good on steak, parsley on salads, oregano on lamb…but I wanted new uses for these herbs, so away went my theme.
My mint plant is massive – it has just absolutely taken-off and I can only make so many mojitos…well, not really – I can drink those all day. But I seriously can’t keep up with this plant. I’ve given 10 or so sprigs to my neighbour, I’ve made salads…but I wanted to do more with it. Insert these cookies. Smitten Kitchen gave me the inspiration as she had posted a recipe for Margarita Cookies, and since these aren’t so far off, I decided to try it. Just to prove how big my plant is…look at this.
These cookies were good, really good. A perfect combination of sweet, salty and buttery and a perfect use for some of my mint. I’d go easy on the salt topping, as a few of mine were a little too savoury, but otherwise these are a welcome treat in our house and taste almost as good as sipping a mojito in Miami…I did say almost though.
Be sure to check-in tomorrow to see what my fellow bloggers made with fresh herbs.
Yield: 50 small 1-inch cookies
Prep Time: 20 minute for dough, plus 2.5 hours of resting in fridge (read directions below!)
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
- 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature and divided (you will use one in dough, one for coating)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons tequila or white rum
- 2 TBSP of minced mint (equal to about 30 or so mint leaves)
- Grated zest of one lime
- 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
- 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*
Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth.
Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and mint.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula.
Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.)
Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on 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, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen Note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you’d see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.]
Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them. Top with a sprinkle of the leftover salt/sugar mixing.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned.
Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.
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.