Mojitos are one of my favorite cocktails. They are made by muddling fresh mint leaves and sugar at the bottom of a highball glass, adding ice and then topping the mint mixture with rum, lime juice and soda water. Because of the mint and the lime juice, the cocktail is very refreshing – so refreshing that I’ll even add some mint to my homemade limeade for a similar but non-alcoholic effect.
These Mojito Cookies were inspired by that flavorful cocktail. They are a rich butter cookie that is spiked with peppermint extract and lots of fresh lime zest. The cookies are slightly crisp (a few extra minutes in the oven will make then even crisper), with a very tender crumb and an almost shortbread-like mouthfeel. Fresh mint doesn’t translate particularly well to cookies, but the peppermint extract packs a lot of flavor and delivers the refreshing minty note well to the buttery dough. Lime zest also offers a strong flavor, allowing the citrus to come through along with that mint. I don’t typically add any kind of rum to these cookies, but a bit of rum extract will give them an even more authentic cocktail flavor, if you want to add a splash into your dough.
I rolled the cookies in a bit of green sanding sugar, just as you might rim a cocktail glass with sugar or salt, to give them a more finished look. Plain sugar – or some sort of coarse, natural sugar, if you have it – will work just as well as the colored stuff and will still add a subtle crunch to the cookies’ edges and give them a nice finish.
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp rum extract (optional)
2 tbsp lime zest
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
green sanding sugar, for decorating
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg, egg yolk, vanilla and salt and mix well. Gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour until a smooth dough comes together.
Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a log roughly 2-inches across. Wrap in wax paper or parchment paper and freeze for about 2 hours or refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm. Dough can also be stored for several days in the fridge and several weeks in the freezer, well-wrapped.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the logs of chilled dough and cut each in half. Dough may need to soften for a few minutes. Roll each smaller log in green sanding sugar or green sprinkles. Cut logs into slices 1/4-inch thick (thicker cookies will require a slightly longer baking time). Transfer cookie rounds to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies just begin to brown around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 4-5 dozen cookies