If you have citrus fruit in your kitchen--sometimes the only thing you have around in the dead of winter--you can put them on double duty by using the zest as well as the fruit to make a delicate French butter cookie.
I read about this recipe on the Huffington Post Food page, and any citrus fruit will work perfectly--besides, you don't need the juice, just the fruit. So before you juice up some oranges or grapefruit, zest one and make cookies. Look for organic citrus fruit at Sprouts and Safeway, where you'll find clearly-marked organic sections.
Another place to shop for this would be the Food Conspiracy Co-Op, whose entire organic produce section is locally sourced. Summer or winter, they deserve our support.
The unusual recipe that I saw on HP Food featured grapefruit for the recipe, which was interesting and unusual, I thought. But just adjust the quantity: zest of half a grapefruit will be about the same as zest of 1 lemon or orange.
That brings us to limes. I wouldn't use lime zest for this recipe (and I don't use lime as a substitute in Lemon Bars) for one reason: the little green shreds can be less appetizing. Even orange zest will show up in the cookies. Now, if you don't care about this, go right ahead and use whatever citrus you like--the cookies will be supreme.
Keep these cookies around for a quick dessert with coffee, especially after you have served a hearty winter supper.
CITRUS SUGAR COOKIES
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of organic sugar
Zest of half an organic ruby red grapefruit, or zest of 1 lemon or lime
10 Tablespoons of unsalted organic butter, cut into 10 pieces and at room temperature
1 large organic egg, slightly beaten and at room temperature
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and grapefruit zest. Take two or three minutes to rub the zest into the sugar until it takes on the aroma of the fruit plus the sugar. Set aside.
Place the butter into an electric mixing bowl fitted with the dough paddle. Mix until the butter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the sugar/zest mixture, and mix until the dough is well blended.
Add the egg and mix until the dough is smooth, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides.
Add the flour all at once. Mix just until the dough becomes crumbly and resembles streusel.
Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and gather it into a ball, gently working in any stray crumbs. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each one in plastic, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with one disk at a time, one a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Using a small round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the prepared cookie sheets (leave about 1 inch between each cookie).
Repeat with the other disks of dough. You can gather the scraps, chill them while the first round is baking, and roll them again for more cookies.
Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes, or until they are set. They will be pale, but the edges should be slightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to rest on the sheets until they're cool enough to transfer to a cooling rack without breaking.
If you can't seem to get the dough together, try moistening your hands with the juice of whatever fruit you are using. This will impart just a bit of moisture to the dough without changing its essential character.
After chilling, these cookies could be rolled into a cylinder and sliced before baking if you don't want to roll out and cut out. That would be my choice.