Chase Away Snow Blues Cookies

Yup, it's another day of no school, skeleton crews and shoveling here in western Massachusetts. This time, I'll be watching for the plow guy and ready to run out in my penguin pants, furry jacket and morel boots holding my snow shovel and looking as pitiful as possible so he'll not dump the entire street full of snow bank in front of our house!

It's also a perfect baking day.  What could possibly be better on a cold snowy evening than a cup of hot cocoa and a citrusy sugar cookie? These crunchy treats are made with ingredients from favorite vacation spots: reminders of pleasant sunny beach days to come. I should call them Cape Cod Key West Hawaii Cookies!

CRANBERRY MACADAMIA LIMEYS
1 cup sugar (I like to use Florida crystals but any sugar will do.)
3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1 large egg
2 cups white whole wheat flour (King Arthur makes this, but all-purpose flour will do)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped (Hawaii)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Cape Cod)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh grated lime zest (Key West)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine 1 teaspoon lime zest and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Beat together 3/4 cup sugar, shortening and egg in a large bowl at medium speed until creamy.  Using a wooden spoon, mix in flour, baking powder and soda.  Blend thoroughly -- about 20-30 hand strokes with a wooden spoon. Add nuts, craisins and lime zest. Mix well.

Shape dough into one inch balls. Roll each ball in the set aside lime sugar mixture. Place each ball two inches apart on a cookie sheet and flatten to approximately 1-1/2 inch circles.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges look dry and light golden in color. Make sure not to over bake. Cool a minute or two, then remove cookies from baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. Makes about 3 dozen cookies at 65 calories each.

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