The inspiration for this yummy salty sweet flakey piece of heaven starts with late night TV. I fell asleep with the TV on one night and woke up to a wonderful show on the food channel called Unique Sweets. They were featuring a bakery that specialized in making a margarita cookie. A strawberry margarita cookie… YUM. It was even spritzed with triple sec. Hello! Where can I sign up for that treatment!? They also featured a chocolate cake soaked in whiskey. Oh dear!! The last thing I remember before dozing off was a caveman muffin. It had coconut, blueberries and honey, I think. I considered getting up to take notes but in my half sleep state I just decided to google it in the morning.
When I googled it the show, Unique Sweets, came up but NONE of the recipes!!! I went over every episode for all three years it has been on the air. Nothing, like it never happened. Really? Why does this stuff happen to me?
So I set out to recreate this yummy cookie. I found lots of recipes for margarita cookies. I looked in images to find the ones that looked closest to the cookies on the show. Now I’m obsessed! None of the recipes fit the description on the show. Was I dreaming? The show cookies had freeze dried strawberries and were spritzed with triple sec. So, determined to do this I embellished a combination of several recipes and this is what I came up with… ta da…
My kitchen smelled fantastic. At first my kids were unimpressed. There was no peanut butter or chocolate chips so what’s the big deal right.
All good things start with BUTTER!
The sugar many of the recipes called for was course sugar or clear sanding sugar. I had not idea what this was. It’s cookie decorating sugar you will find in the cake decorating isle. I could only find about half the sugar I needed so I used raw sugar for the other half. When the cookies baked the raw sugar caramelized and browned just slightly. It added a chewy sweet salty edge that I think Made the cookie perfect!
I also had a hard time finding freeze dried strawberries. Dried strawberries would not be the same. I found little packs of other freeze dried fruits in my grocery store for mucho $$$ but couldn’t find strawberries. SO thinking outside the box I bought a box of Special K red berries cereal. You will NOT believe how many berries are in a box of that stuff. PLENTY and then some. In the end it was well worth the effort. These bright yummy slices of red strawberry goodness become chewy sweet yummy gems in the cookie.
This combined with the flecks of orange and lime zest made a fragrant and pretty dough.
Strawberry Margarita Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) sifted
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons of good tequila
- zest of 4 limes
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries (You can buy them at Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- about 1/2 cup clear sanding sugar
- *note I used 1/4c sanding sugar and 1/4c organic raw sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons Kosher salt
- *note I used 3tsp, I like salty!
- 1 large egg yolk
- about 1/4C of Triple Sec in a spray bottle.
- zest of one lime.
- Put the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Beat in 1 egg yolk, pinch of salt, tequila, zest of 3 limes and zest of 1 orange.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour . Beat only until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix the dough. At this time take bowl off the mixer, add the freeze dried strawberries finish blending with a rubber spatula just until all the flour and strawberries are mixed in.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Use the paper to shape it into a tube shape log about 14” long by rolling it tightly in the parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Can be made three days ahead.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
While the oven is preheating prepare the sugar coating.
Whisk the remaining egg yolk with a tsp of water in a small bowl.
Mix the sugar and salt with the zest of the 1 remaining lime. Spread the mixture out on a piece of parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Roll it on the counter to be sure it has a nice smooth round log shape. Unwrap it and brush the dough with the egg mixture. Roll the log in the sugar mixture. Press the sugar-salt mix onto the dough if needed. You want a nice thick even coat all around the dough log.
Use a sharp thin knife to slice the log into 1/4 inch cookies. Place 1” apart on the parchment lined baking sheets. Use a spray bottle to spray the uncooked cookies with triple sec. Just a light mist over all.
Bake the cookies 10 to 14 minutes, or until lightly golden but not browned. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. At this point I gave them one more spritz with the triple sec. Cool to room temp. BUT be sure to enjoy a few warm, they are super yummy right out of the oven.
Keep left overs in an air tight container at room temperature for about 5 days. Ours have never lasted that long.
Now what to do with those left over limes?? Margaritas?! YES
Give them a try. If you love them or have questions leave a comment. I would love to hear how yours turn out! Enjoy!