The other night our friend Christine invited us to dinner. Christine is originally from Paris, France and is a wonderful cook (and a lovely person!) We got to know her through her daughter Elisa, who was a high school friend of our son Kyle. Elisa, btw, is no slouch in the kitchen either. She has actually studied with Alice Waters (yes, THAT Alice Waters!) and did research for a couple of Michael Pollan (yes, THAT Michael Pollan!) books, including his newly released Cooked (which, btw, I highly recommend. Such an important message.) He even thanked her, by name, in his Acknowledgments! So impressed.
Okay, where was I? Right. Christine invited us for dinner. I asked what I could bring. She said (in her lovely French accent), “I have been dreaming about your white chocolate lime cookies.” Wow. Dreaming about them. Okay then…how could I possibly say no? Decision made. The cookies are delicious…a light, buttery shortbread with a nice zesty lime flavor, a tiny bit of sweetness from the white chocolate and a crunchy almond topping.
The cookies were a lovely ending to Christine’s exceptional meal which included classic French dishes Salade Lyonnaise and Blanquette de Veau. Très magnifique!
I’m sharing the recipe for the cookies. If you want recipes for Salade Lyonnaise and Blanquette de Veau, you’ll have to ask Christine.
Lime Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate and Almonds
(adapted slightly from Bon Appétit April 2009)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons finely grated lime peel (3-4 limes), divided
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 3.5-ounce bar high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan.
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter, 2 tablespoons lime peel, and lime juice; process just until blended and dough forms clumps.
Press dough evenly into prepared baking pan. Pierce dough all over with fork. Using sharp knife, cut dough into 12 squares, cutting through dough completely, then cut each square in half on diagonal, forming 24 triangles total.
Bake shortbread until golden brown, crisp around edges, and firm to touch, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Using sharp knife, immediately recut shortbread, gently separating triangles. Cool shortbread in pan on rack.
Place white chocolate in small metal bowl. Set bowl over small saucepan of gently simmering water and stir just until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Using fork, drizzle melted chocolate in zigzag pattern over shortbread. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon lime peel. Let stand until chocolate sets, about 1 hour. Gently separate into triangles.