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Sea salt, Lime and Thyme Shortbread Cookies

You want to test my will power? Put a cookie in front of me. And see how fast they disappear. Put a warm cookie in front me, it will be gone in 20 seconds. Bottom line, I cannot resist a cookie.

But here's the thing, if I'm bad, I am married to someone worse. My husband is the ultimate cookie monster. If I bake cookies to give away, I need to make a dozen extra for him, for sure. Whenever I make my triple chocolate chip cookies, I always freeze a batch before he comes home, so that I have some dough leftover when I'm craving for some.

Despite his terrible cookie addiction, when it comes savoury cookies, he's quite giving. Even though he might have one off with his tea, nine times out of ten, he lets it be for me. I don't feel offended, instead I feel very happy that he's left some for me.

These cookies are lovely. They are buttery, light and so salty that you'll need to chase it down with something sweet. The perfect bar snack. Everytime I am sick of baking something sweet, the recipe is whipped out and a batch is made. 

You do a number of variations with this recipe. Replace  lime zest and juice with orange, thyme with basil, add in any kind of cheese, put in a bit of sugar, basically just go crazy with it. And trust me, you'll have no leftovers.

Sea salt, lime and thyme cookies
Adapted from Mary Cech's Savory Baking: Warm and Inspiring Recipes for Crisp, Crumbly, Flaky Pastries. Available in India, US and UK

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup gouda cheese
Sea Salt to sprinkle on top


1. Stir the flour, salt, lemon peel, and thyme together in a medium bowl. 
2. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse, crumbly mixture forms. Blend the lightly beaten egg, egg yolks, and water together. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture for brushing.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add the remaining egg mixture and blend together with your hands without kneading the dough together; the dough will look a bit crumbly. 
4.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough together once or twice, just until it sticks together. Press the dough into a 1-inch disc, wrap in plastic film, and refrigerate until firm, about 1/2 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180 degree centigrade and line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place it on a floured work surface. 
6. Press the dough into a 6-by-5-inch rectangle. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a larger 10-by-7-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough in half, forming two 5-by-7-inch pieces. 
7. Using a pizza wheel or sharp paring knife, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Carefully place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet leaving a little room between each cookie. 
8. Brush the tops with the reserved egg mixture and sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top. Gently press the salt into the surface of each cookie so it does not fall off. 
9. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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  1. These look absolutely wonderful ..leaves me craving for some :)

  2. i want a grain of that jewelly salt. so pretty

  3. Oooh these are yum. I've nibbled some you made Ruchira, and I think these make for a nice gift. Thank heavens that the cookie monster has a sweet tooth!

  4. Ohh these are soo inviting, I would to have these with some tea or even a refreshing drink!