This may come as a surprise to you, as it certainly did me, but crumbly, buttery shortbread cookies are the most wonderful vehicle for the flavors of a margarita – and a tequila glaze dribbled upon each cookie, doesn’t hurt either. The lovely Kate Ramos, of Hola Jalapeno, invited me to join in on all the #margaritaweek festivities again this year (last year I made a no-bake margarita cheese cake, and yes, you should probably go make it as soon as you finish making these shortbread cookies) and I am so happy she did.
These traditional shortbread cookies are flavored with lime zest, tequila and orange extract, and after baking, are dribbled with a sweet orange tequila glaze. I like to sprinkle the cookies with flaky sea salt, as well, after glazing them, because doesn’t everybody always order a margarita with salt?
The cookies are super fast to assemble and if you stick them in the freezer after baking and cutting them, you really can be eating these tasty margarita flavor bombs in a little over an hour. You’re welcome. Please check out the hashtag #margaritaweek to see all of the amazing margarita concoctions that folks created in honor of Cinco De Mayo and happy happy to all.
Margarita Shortbread Cookies with Orange Tequila Glaze
- For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 Tbsp grated lime zest about 6 limes
- 3/4 tsp orange extract
- 1 Tbsp tequila
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tbsp tequila
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 2 tsp water
- Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-by-2-in pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, line with parchment paper, and grease again.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour and salt, and whisk to combine. Place the butter, zest, orange extract and tequila in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed until soft and light, about 3 minutes. Add both sugars and continue mixing for 2 more minutes or until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and continue mixing with a rubber spatula until fully combined. Transfer to the prepared pan. The dough will be quite sticky. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the dough, and using your hands, press the dough into the pan.
- Bake for 33 to 36 minutes rotating the pan at the halfway point. The cookies are done when they are just slightly browned and dry to the touch. I like to press down the edges of the shortbread while still in the pan with a dish towel to flatten them if they have puffed up while baking. Immediately slice the dough with a paring knife by making 1 horizontal line that divides the dough in half, and 6 vertical lines from top to bottom. With the tines of a fork, poke each cookie 5 times. Let cool to room temperature before glazing. You can speed this up by placing the pan in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
- To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. if the glaze is too thick add a teaspoon more of water. Remove the cooled cookies from the pan, separate them, and decoratively dribble the glaze on top of the cookies. Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt, if using. Let set before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.