Tag Archives: lime

Coconut Lime Frozen Yogurt and Chewy Ginger Cookie Sandwiches

10 May

As tough as it was for me to find a name for these astonishingly delicious treats (that title is almost more of a mouthful than the actual cookie sandwich), the path from idea to reality was a surprisingly simple one.  As often as I have ideas about dishes and flavor combinations I think would be great, only to have them never really work out in the end, no matter my efforts (there might be an entire article I can write about this phenomenon, which I may dub “Foods that Never Were”), it is always a great boon to my cooking inclinations when I can manage to make something work itself out on the first go around.  These frozen yogurt sandwiches came into being at just the right time.

It doesn’t take much to make the people of Portland move from cold weather doldrums to sheer, unadulterated excitement over the promise of a warm, sunny day.  All I have to do is hear someone casually mention that it might not rain for a few days and my brain wanders over to thoughts of picnics, hammocks, and tall, ice-filled glasses, their sides mottled by drops of condensation.  If it seems the warm weather might take a trip north of 70 degrees, I start to hover around the cabinet where I keep the ice cream maker, waiting in earnest for a cue—any cue—that will allow me to unearth my old friend and start welcoming the cold treats we so crave on warm days.

Striking the perfect balance of cool and creamy against chewy and crunchy, I can’t think of a better invitation to celebrate summer than having a batch of these ice cream sandwiches sitting in your freezer, waiting for the perfect moment to accompany you in a lounge chair or on a picnic blanket.  The tropical notes of the lime and coconut yogurt make fast friends with the wonderful ginger bite of the cookies that envelop it, making this an ice cream sandwich for the ages.  As an added bonus, and as any fellow fan of the frozen sandwich will hear and, no doubt, applaud, the wonderfully chewy ginger cookies that hold this sandwich together are sturdy enough to keep their shape throughout the entire life of the sandwich, but never do they impede one’s efforts to bite through the sandwich.  Crisp, yet with gentle give, they are the perfect bookends to an equally perfect treat.

Last Year: New Potato and Caramelized Leek Tart in an Olive Oil Crust

Coconut Lime Frozen Yogurt and Chewy Ginger Cookie Sandwiches Recipe

Some of you may remember these ginger cookies from a post a few months ago.  That’s how I remembered them, and that’s how I came to conclude that, with their fantastic chewiness and great ginger flavor, they’d be the perfect match for this ice cream treat.  The recipe for the cookies is the same here, only the size of each cookie is obviously larger, and the baking time adjusted accordingly.

A note on the yogurt choice: you’ve got to go Greek yogurt on this one.  The creaminess and texture of Greek yogurt are unparalleled here, and really make the frozen yogurt that much more luxurious.  If you’re afraid of the fat content in Greek yogurt (which is fine, it’s a perfectly reasonable concern), I’ll have you know that I accidentally ended up with non-fat Greek yogurt when I was making this (did you even know that there was such a thing as non-fat Greek yogurt? I had no idea), and I never even suspected it was fat-free until I was pitching the yogurt cups in the recycling bin later on in the day and noticed the designation on the label.  The taste gave nothing away.  So, Greek yogurt is a must, and full or non-fat are both fine.

Coconut Lime Frozen Yogurt

18 ounces (just a tad north of 2 cups) plain Greek yogurt

1 heaping tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

2/3 cup granulated sugar

In a large bowl, or in a large measuring cup, combine all ingredients.  Whisk vigorously together for 1 minute, thoroughly combining.  Allow the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes to really let the sugar dissolve, then vigorously whisk once more for at least a minute, making sure that everything is fully incorporated.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.  When yogurt has frozen, remove from ice cream maker and pack into a freezer-safe tub.  Place frozen yogurt in freezer for at least an hour to allow it to firm up just a bit more before assembling ice cream sandwiches.

Chewy Ginger Thin Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 beaten egg

¼ cup molasses (dark or light are both fine)

1 ½ cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground powdered ginger

pinch nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses.  Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and nutmeg, and sift together directly onto the butter mixture.  Stir until smooth.  Add the fresh ginger, then mix to combine.

Using a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with a bottom corner cut off (the dough is extremely sticky, so trying to portion it out with a spoon won’t work well at all), pipe or squeeze out cookies into circles roughly 3 inches across onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Place each cookie about 1 inch apart, lest they stick together as they spread during baking.

Bake cookies on the center rack of the oven for 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges of the cookies have just begun to appear slightly darkened and dry.  While the cookies are baking, pipe another batch of cookies onto your second prepared baking sheet.

Cool baked cookies on their parchment sheet placed on a wire rack.  When cookies have cooled on a rack for about 5 minutes are and no longer gooey, you can slip the cookies right off of the parchment and reuse the parchment for another batch of cookies.

The desired consistency for these cookies is super chewy but ever-so-slightly firm (they will be very bendy when they come out of the oven, and will become soft-firm when cooled).  If you find your cookies are persistently floppy even after having sufficiently cooled, increase the baking time of subsequent batches by 1 minute.

To Assemble and Wrap Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches:

Allow cookies to cool completely.  Place a cookie on a piece of plastic wrap.  Scoop desired amount of frozen yogurt on top of cookie, leaving a bit of open space around the edges of each cookie to allow for settling.  Place another cookie on top of the frozen yogurt, and gently press down until the frozen yogurt settles a bit and the top cookie starts to adhere.  Wrap the plastic wrap around the sandwich and place in the freezer to allow to firm up a bit, ideally for a couple of hours.  There is, of course, nothing stopping you from eating a frozen yogurt sandwich as soon as you assemble it, but allowing the sandwiches to rest in the freezer for a bit really does help them keep their shape while you eat them.

Assemble all sandwiches until yogurt is gone.  You will have cookies left over, but this is a good thing.

Makes 12-15 sandwiches, depending on how much yogurt you desire to put in between the cookies.

Chocolate-Dipped Lime Shortbread

8 Dec

It seems somehow unbelievable, but up until last year, I had never before heard of a holiday cookie exchange.  Then I was invited to one, and it was like someone had thrown open the door to a whole new world of crisp, buttery delights.  If you’ve never heard of a cookie exchange either, the basics are thus:

-You make a bunch of cookies.

-Other people make a bunch of cookies.

-You and those other people gather at a predetermined location to exchange a handful of each cookie in attendance.

-You leave with as many cookies as you came with, only now your cookies are made up of a glorious mix of several different types of cookies.

And I went most of my life without knowing about this magnificent event?  Unfathomable.  Thankfully, this year I was invited to yet another cookie exchange, and it seems as though we somehow lucked into the greatest, most creative group of cookie makers for which anyone could ever hope.  When we left that cookie exchange, we had been blessed with extra-spicy ginger cookies, peanut butter Nutella cookies (how I’ve never been exposed to those little miracles before, I’ll never know), tiny little pecan pies, anise butter cookies, and something called an espresso crunch bar that I eventually had to get rid of after I found myself unable to resist its charms for the tenth time in one evening, leading me to stand in front of it whilst pointing angrily and yelling in a stern voice, “You are not the boss of me!”

A success all around, it seems.

Of course, in order to partake in a cookie exchange, one must bring along a selection of cookies, and I dutifully did my part.  I’ve always been a big fan of shortbreads that have been heightened with a bit of citrus, so my choice of cookie was easily made.  As an added bonus, choosing to shape the dough into logs and cut them later made for a great, simple method of breaking up my cookie preparation into a couple of laid-back evenings.  One night I made the dough and shaped it, the next night I baked the cookies.  The morning of the cookie exchange, I dipped the cookies in just a bit of melted chocolate, giving them a touch of something extra.  It might be debatable if we really need to add extras during the holiday cookie season, but why go down that road?  Make some cookies, then exchange them, gift them, or, if you are brave, leave them in your house to be enjoyed over the remaining weeks.  Okay, days.  Okay, day, singular.  You know what?  Just send the cookies to work with your spouse.  It’s safer that way.

Chocolate-Dipped Lime Shortbread

Keen eyes may notice that these pictures show two types of shortbread.  Because the cookie exchange I attended require each person to make 7 dozen cookies, and this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, I doubled the recipe and made one batch of lime shortbread and one batch of ginger shortbread.  To make ginger shortbread, simply add two tablespoons of finely chopped candied ginger in place of the two tablespoons of lime zest.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolk and blend well.  Add the flour and cornstarch and beat until well mixed.  Add lime zest and mix until combined.

Dive the dough into 2 batches.  Shape each batch into a log roughly 12 inches long.  Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm (tightly wrapped, dough can be left refrigerated for up to a week).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut dough into ¼-inch slices.  Bake the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets for 10 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are mostly set in the middle and just starting to turn light golden brown at the edges.  Prick tops of cookies with a fork (to allow steam to escape and ensure a crisp cookie), then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cookies have cooled, heat the chocolate on top of a double boiler until it is smooth and glossy.  Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave by heating the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between each session, until the chocolate is mostly melted.  Let the chocolate sit for a minute or so to melt completely, then stir to make it smooth.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate, coating it halfway.  I ended up dipping each cookie by tipping the top into the chocolate and leaving the bottom mostly uncovered, because I found this method to be the easiest.  Place each dipped cookie on the parchment paper and allow to the chocolate to harden completely before packing up or transporting.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Lime Coconut Tart

26 Sep

It is no secret that my love of tarts and pies, both savory and sweet, rides front and center on this website.  Sometimes I change things up a bit and find myself leaning my affections towards galettes, but, for the most part, tarts and pies are sort of like my best food friends (incidentally, my son’s best food friend would be carbs, and my husband’s best food friend would be all the food, everywhere, all of it).  Not coincidentally, what do I make my actual best friend every year for her birthday?  That’s right.  A pie.

So it should come as no surprise that when I discovered three cans of coconut milk sitting in the back of our pantry that seemed to appear as if from nowhere, my first thought was, “I am going to put this in a tart.”  No, really.  Some people might wonder, “When did I buy these?” or “Who needs three cans of coconut milk?”  But not me.  It should also come as no surprise that my second thought after finding the secret stash of coconut milk was, “I must find the best tart dough in all the land.”

For years I have been engaged in a highly serious search for the world’s best sweet tart dough.  I have found what I think is the best galette dough, I have my favorite pie dough, and there is always, of course, my favorite pizza dough, but tart dough?  That’s something else all together.  Tart dough is difficult.  It is prone to slumping and shrinking, and if it does happen to keep its shape, it is also often hard and bland.  Most tart dough, if not soggy, is too crunchy, almost like a cookie.  A cookie is fine, of course, but tart dough it is not.  Tart dough should be sturdy, but not heavy or tough.  It should also be buttery and only slightly sweet, sort of like a shortbread, only not as crumbly and sandy.  My list of qualifications, as you can see, is long and specific, hence my dedicated search.  Or my former search, because now?  Now I have found what is the best, most fail-proof tart dough around.

The end to my searching was not, as it turns out, all that dramatic.  In what might be called the least shocking news in recent memory, the tart dough I ended up using (and finding perfect in every way imaginable) was found in that bible of all things baking, Tartine’s cookbook.  Of course it was.  I’ve eaten their tarts many, many times, and I am well aware of the utterly transcendent quality of all their pastries.  Why it took me so long to get around to making my own batch of their tart dough—look, it doesn’t matter.  I have no excuse.  And you should not either.  You should go make this tart dough right now, and then fill the tart dough with this fantastically tart, creamy filling of coconut milk, lime juice, and lime zest.  Lightly scented with the sweet taste of coconut, wonderfully brisk from the burst of fresh lime, it’s a nearly perfect tart that also happens to be, as it goes, perfectly tart.

Lime Coconut Tart

Tartine’s Sweet Tart Dough

From Tartine

Makes enough dough for 4 9-inch tart shells

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, and salt, and mix on medium speed until smooth.  Mix in 1 egg until smooth, then mix in the second egg until smooth again.  With the mixer off, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add in the flour all at once and mix on low speed until well incorporated.

On a lightly floured work surface, turn out dough and divide into 4 equal balls.  Shape each ball into a disk about ½-inch thick.  Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight.  If you are only preparing to use 1 of the tart shells, place 1 disk of dough in the refrigerator, and store the remaining 3 disks of dough in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

To prepare a tart shell for baking, on a lightly floured surface, roll out a disk of tart dough about 1/8-inch thick.  Work quickly to prevent the dough from becoming warm.  Cut out a circle 2 inches larger than your tart pan.  If the dough is still cool, lift the dough into the tart pan, gently pressing it into the sides and bottom of the pan.  If the dough is sticky and no longer cool, place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up before transferring it to the pan. Trim the top of the dough evenly with the top of the pan, then place the pastry shell in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a fork or the tip of a knife, poke many small holes in the bottom of the tart shell about 2 inches apart..  Bake the tart in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes for a partially baked shell, 12 to 15 minutes for a fully baked shell.  A partially baked shell should look dry and slightly opaque, and a fully baked shell should look golden brown.

A baked pastry shell will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Lime Coconut Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4 large eggs

1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup coconut milk

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons lime zest

pinch salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well incorporated.  While still whisking, slowly add in the coconut milk, then lime juice.  Whisk in the lime zest and pinch of salt.

Pour filling into partially baked tart shell, then bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is set.  The top should be just beginning to brown, and the center of the filling should jiggle ever-so-slightly when the pan is bumped.

Place tart on a rack to cool completely, then, when cool, unmold and serve.  If desired, chill tart in refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, before serving.

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