Friday, February 4, 2011

Lime Shortbread

I'm not usually a huge shortbread fan - it's a bit dry for my taste and although I do love butter I usually love it when paired with other things and I am just not a fan of powdery things. However, when I spied this recipe the combination of the cornmeal and lime drew me in. And, I confess, the look of the pretty crunchy sugar around the edge - pretty food definitely tastes better!

The recipe is pretty easy, but features a long chilling period (8 hours) which I intensely dislike, as I tend towards the have-my-cake-and-eat-it-NOW end of the baking scale. ;-) With some things I can accept stages (ice-cream is almost always a two-day process) but for biscuits it seems unfair - why wait for these when I could have my regular chocolate chip cookies finishing in half an hour? The answer, silly me, is that these looked tasty (and they are) and I didn't read the 8 hour bit properly when I skimmed over the recipe - so I didn't figure out until I was midway through making them that I wouldn't be reaching the eating stage until the next day.

There is a silver lining to recipes like this, of course; if you are cooking for a crowd, or trying to impress without messing up your kitchen, you can get the messy end of the process out of the way, pop the logs in the fridge and then slice them up and pop them in the oven at the last moment.

The optional (but highly recommended) step of rolling the log in sugar and lime made for ultra-delicious biscuits. I used coarse raw sugar, which made a nice crunchy crust and also sparkles prettily. It's the little extras like this that will make people think you're an amazing baker when actually you just bung everything in a bowl. ;-)

I probably slightly undercooked these - some of them were still a bit squidgy in the middle - but given my previously declared preference for non-dry foodstuffs that probably made them tastier to me! I think these are really tasty - the lime flavour isn't overwhelming but provides a faint zing, a lift from your average shortbread biscuit. I am beginning to think I need to give shortbread a second chance - perhaps with a teeny tiny bit of flavour it shifts from sawdust-flavour to melt-in-the-mouth magic. Are you a shortbread fan? Do you have any little tweaks you use to add magic?

Lime Shortbread (adapted from Half Baked)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Optional sugar mix:
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and cornmeal. Add dry ingredients to wet, beating until just blended. Shape dough into a log (or two) using baking paper - size according to how large you want your biscuits to be. Once wrapped, roll the wrapped log on the bench to smooth out any bumps. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours.

If using, stir raw sugar and additional zest together. Sprinkle onto your work surface, unwrap the log(s) and roll in the sugar mixture. Try to coat the log evenly, pressing lightly to help sugar to adhere.

Preheat oven to 180 C. Using a sharp knife, cut log into 1cm thick slices. Place 3cm apart on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Makes about 30 biscuits.


  1. my kids just love short bread plain old shortbread in the shape of stars!!

  2. I'm keen to try this as I am not really a shortbread fan, I think it is the dryness.....but love butter and lime, so am happy to be converted:)

  3. I love shortbread...especially shortbread dough :)

    Love the idea of rolling it in sugar and lime zest, looks so pretty! But yes, agree that the long chilling process sounds like a pain.

  4. Liz, nice, got to love how changing the shape of food makes it waaaaay more exciting.

    Plum Kitchen, I found this quite nice, not too powdery, good and buttery. :-)

    Laura, I think I will transfer the sugar coating to any other rolled cookies I can find sometime in the near future, for the short term reward factor.


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