Drinks and dessert may not be the most common pairing one thinks of. Sure, there’s the classic wine and chocolate pairings, but in a time of sweltering heat and suffocating humidity, who can even fathom having a sip, let alone a glass, of dessert wine? It simply wouldn’t do. It’s the time of year for refreshment and relief from the overheated outdoors—decadent desserts are so last December.
But there is a way to work dessert into this uncomfortable weather. The answer is citrus. Light, sour, only slightly sweet, lemon and lime desserts are the way to go this time of year if you want to satisfy a sweet craving without feeling weighted down and overly-indulgent. And while these desserts may still not be the greatest for maintaining a swimsuit body, they do feel slightly less sinful than fudge, saltwater taffy, apple pie a la mode, ice cream, and the other desserts of summer.
My specific suggestion for summer soirees is the key lime meltaway. These delightful cookies are small, have a sour kick to them, and seem to melt away before you can even take the faintest bite. They are all you want when seeking something sweet in the middle of a hot day, and nothing more (by that I mean not more than your sweet tooth can take).
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 50 itty-bitty cookies
13 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
zest of 2 1/2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
In an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar until they are fluffy. Add the zest, juice, and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until light and fluffy.
Use parchment paper to roll the dough into 1 1/4 inch diameter logs. Put in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.
Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the parchment paper from the logs and cut the dough into 1/4 think inch segments. Place cookies on baking sheet, one inch apart.
Bakes cookies for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then place in a ziplock bag with the remaining sugar to coat. Remove from bag and allow to continue cooling.
Pair with gin and tonics, Coronas, or any other alcoholic what-have-you of summer.
P.S. On another (hypocritical) note, I will soon be competing in the Ice Cream Takedown at the Bell House. Buy your tickets and buy them fast—these sell-out in no time! Fifteen dollars gets you tastes of 30 different ice creams, and the opportunity to vote for moi. And if you have any suggestions for ice cream flavors, comment away!