Chewy Coconut-Lime Cookies

Here I go again, still baking with citrus.  Lime is the citrus fruit of the week!

At my local specialty grocery store, I used to be able to get these wonderful Sugar Cane Lime Cookies (among other flavors) from Dancing Deer, but eventually the store stopped carrying them.  Luckily you can still order them from the company but when I saw this recipe it reminded me of those cookies and I had to give it a try.

Some people like crispy cookies and some like chewy….I love chewy cookies.  These are my new favorite cookie: chewy, flavorful, sweet, delicious!  I URGE you to try out this recipe!  If you’re not a huge fan of lime or coconut, scroll down to the bottom to see how to make basic Chewy Sugar Cookies.

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp lime juice

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

2.  Whisk flour, coconut (don’t forget to finely chop it!), baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

3.  In a medium bowl, place 1 1/2 cups sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese.  Put the other 1/3 cup sugar in another bowl for rolling, and set aside.  Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and stir to combine.  Stir in oil, then egg.  Add milk and lime juice and continue to stir until smooth.  Combine with flour mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.

4.  Portion dough into small rounds about the size of a golf ball or approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp.  I usually fit 12 per baking sheet, but these can spread a lot so I would recommend trying 9 at first so that they don’t all run into each other.  Roll each ball into the reserved sugar and return to the baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.  Work quickly as the dough can become warm which can cause the cookies to flatten too much when baking.  Bake 11-13 minutes, or until edges are set and just begin to brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Store in airtight container.

Tips and Thoughts:

When zesting citrus, I rarely measure out the quantity specified.  I hate to let things go to waste, so I usually just use the zest from the whole fruit.  (Limes are small anyways!) I have to admit, also do the same for the juice especially if amount needed is a small amount.  In this instance, I did measure the juice from my lime and it turned out to be exactly the 1 Tbsp.

I returned the bowl of dough to the refrigerator between each batch so that it wouldn’t get too warm.  I am lazy and like to use only one baking sheet when I bake, so I have to wait for the pan to cool between batches.

Before baking, you can sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little more sugar for a little extra crunch.

I thought the method for these cookies was quite strange, different from any cookie I’ve made before, but I trust Cook’s Illustrated because they methodically test out recipes over and over and these cookies turned out great!

If you like these cookies, but want to try them without the lime and coconut, all you have to do is exclude those ingredients (coconut, lime zest, and lime juice) and add 2 tsp vanilla to the sugar/cream cheese mixture.  Now you have a basic chewy sugar cookie!

 

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