If it’s October then it’s time to celebrate my father’s birthday…his 93rd birthday this year! This past year has been kind of hard on him; Mom died last November and Dad has slowed down considerably. Well, for him anyway. We still go to our chosen outdoor organic market one town over every Saturday morning. I treasure those mornings. Each trip, even during the week to the grocery store, I learn something about him. From the mundane minutiae to the spectacular. And laugh? Oh, do we laugh! Here’s an inside fact about Dad that even some of his closest friends didn’t know. And I don’t have to be concerned that Daddy might find out; he’s internet savvy but has no interest at all in reading my blog. His feeling is “Once you’ve seen one church or museum, you’ve seen them all.” Whaaaat? I tell him, “Dad! It’s a cooking blog.” And he always responds, “No, I’m not interested!”. Although Dad is a thin as a rail and a vegetarian, his resolve and self-discipline is weak as a baby when it comes to sweets. There…it’s out. Bake him a pie, some cookies or some sort of crisp or crumble and he will protest vehemently because he knows what’s coming. The following day, after taking possession of the unwelcome sweet he’ll call and in a defeated tone, and it’s always the same, he’ll say, “Vishinsky, you’re not going to believe this. I had my dinner and thought I’d have a slice of that pie you dropped off. I really liked it so I thought I’d have another piece…not a big one just a little piece. So I did. Then I thought, “Well, I can have another taste. And you know what happened, Vishinsky?”. And that’s my cue to answer, “Oh no, Dad. What happened?”. He always answers the same way, “You know what happened. You KNOW what happened! I ate the whole thing. I felt sick, SICK, afterwards. Sick. I’m never eating pie again. Ever! So don’t make me any. Don’t make me anything. I’ve sworn off all sugar. Really. I mean it.” But he doesn’t. I’ll go back with a blueberry cobbler or peach tart and his eyes will light up. “Just leave it on the counter. I’ll have some after lunch. Thanks, Vishinsky, that’s great!” And since he never reads my blog, I’ll tell y’all something else. Sometimes I lie to him and tell him there’s no sugar in the, say cobbler, nope, no sugar at all. “Just a little honey, Dad. Greek Thyme honey, Dad, from the mountains of Greece. You’ll like it!” I feel he could use a bit of weight. Sweet Jesus, he only weighs about 120 pounds and that’s way too thin. So what’s a little sugar and butter?
So for this birthday he received a homemade sweet potato bread, a blueberry cobbler, four dark chocolate bars from Whole Foods and the following Key Lime Shortbread cookies with Key Lime Glaze. He loved them all and hasn’t gotten sick yet. Happy Birthday, Jungle Jack!
Key Lime Shortbread Cookies with Key Lime Glaze
- 3/4 pounds butter, (3 sticks), room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Key Lime zest
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup Key Lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Key Lime Glaze
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons Key Lime juice
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 325°.
- In a food processor pulse granulated sugar and Key Lime zest until the pieces of zest are small, about the size of a grain of short grain rice. This can also be done by hand on a cutting board mincing the zest with the sugar. Set aside.
- Using a large bowl and hand mixer beat butter until light and fluffy.
- Add granulated sugar/key lime mixture to the butter and mix well.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar, Key Lime juice, vanilla and salt and mix well.
- By hand gently fold in flour and incorporate just until the flour is mixed in.
- Transfer dough to plastic wrap and shape into a log roughly 18″ long. Wrap well and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until firm.
- Slice into rounds 1/4″-1/2″ thick and place on parchment lined baking sheet 1″ apart.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or until barely golden on the edges.
- Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling place all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and mix until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.
- Put about 1 teaspoon of glaze in the middle of the cooled cookies and, using the back of a spoon, swirl the glaze covering the top of the cookie. Place on cooling racks set over baking sheets and let glaze set and harden to touch.