Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The New Cookie On The Block

This is probably about the most unusual cookie recipe I have ever conjured up in my laboratory (My Kitchen). In addition, the cookies are quite striking, even though they do not have much of a "natural look". I was thinking that they would come out more pinkish than orange, but I did learn that trying to color a batter that already has a color is futile. Next time around, I will not be bothering with the food coloring as suggested in this recipe. The cookies will be a paler orange color, but never the pinkish red hue of the watermelon. Probably the other ingredients in the recipe had an impact on the color.
The cookie itself does have all the taste of a margarita. In one bite you can taste the lime and a subtle flavor of watermelon, then you get the nice rich taste of the dark chocolate. I never knew how good chocolate can be when paired with the fruity tart flavors of a margarita! The texture of the cookie is soft and cake-like.
This is definitely one that gets people's curiosity. After my husband advised his friends at work what I had made, they all wanted some! I am still waiting for feedback on the ones he took today. I think these are a great cookie for entertaining as well as enjoying at happy hour-with none other than a margarita. However, for those of you are seeking something without alcohol, there is instruction below to make a non-alcoholic version.
Watermelon Mararita Cookies

Watermelon Margarita Cookies
2 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. grated lime zest
2 tbsp. triple sec
¼ c. tequila
4 tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ c. light corn syrup
½ c. butter
1 egg
3 c. fresh, packed, coarsely chopped, seedless watermelon
Red food coloring (optional)
¾ c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Fill a saucepan with the watermelon, corn syrup, tequila and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Place over medium high heat and cook for about 35 minutes, stirring every now and then. Then cook for 10 minutes more, stirring constantly. Mixture should reduce to a very thick sauce, about ½ cup.  Remove from heat and let cool.
As this is cooling, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Once the watermelon mixture has cooled, the consistency will need to be evaluated. If it has cooked down to a sauce, then it is fine. If not, then puree the mixture in a food processor. This variance probably is due to how ripe your watermelon is.
Add the watermelon mixture, triple sec, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, lime zest and egg to the butter/sugar blend. Beat until all is blended and smooth. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold the sifted ingredients into the batter until no more dry streaks remain. If using food coloring, add it to the batter and blend until desired color is reached. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
Then lay a piece of plastic wrap horizontally on a flat surface. Wrap should be about 1 foot in length.  Spoon half of the batter on one end of the plastic wrap. The dough should be placed as a vertical log leaving a 1 ½ inch border of plastic beyond the top and bottom of the log as well as a 2 inch border on one side. Curl the 2 inch border over the dough and continue to roll, letting the rest of the plastic wrap around the log until there is no more length. Shape it into an even log and then fold the ends over the dough.  Prepare the second half of the batter in the same manner.
Place both logs on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
While the dough is chilling, prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. In the last 15 minutes of the freezing time, preheat the oven to 350.
After proper chilling time, remove one of the logs from the freezer and uncover from the plastic wrap.  Slice log vertically into 18 pieces, each slice should be approximately ½ inch thick. Then using damp hands, place each piece 2 inches apart on baking sheet (I ended up with 6 cookies to a sheet) and flatten dough to 1/4 inch thick. Put the other dough slices in the fridge until you are ready to bake. Place pan in oven and bake about 12-15 minutes or until bottom and edges of cookies start to brown. Mine took about 13 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on pan before removing.
Continue this process with the rest of the dough slices as well as the second frozen log.
Chef’s note: The second frozen log slices may need to warm up a few minutes before you flatten them or they may crack. Since the dough has remained in the freezer for longer than two hours, it may be too stiff to flatten right away.
Non Alcoholic version: just omit the triple sec and add ¼ cup of water instead of tequila.

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