Berries, lime and salt, minus the tequila.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Strawberry jam can be substituted for the strawberry filling.
For strawberry filling
1 pound frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar, plus extra for rolling dough
2 egg yolks
Freshly grated zest from 1 lime
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Flaky sea salt or coarse kosher salt, for decorating
To prepare strawberry filling: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries and sugar, and cook until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in lime juice. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lime zest and lime juice, and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, in thirds, mixing until incorporated.
Form dough into ¾-inch balls. Roll dough balls in sugar and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Using your finger or a ½-teaspoon measuring spoon, make deep indentations in each cookie, pressing together any cracks that may form. Fill indentations with strawberry filling (you will not use all the filling). Bake until cookies are golden brown on bottom, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Top each cookie with a few grains of sea salt or kosher salt.
2010 Finalist: Lance Swanson of North Branch, Minnesota