This weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting a creative meetup picnic with two wonderful gals, Gilit of The Bannerie, and Alicia of Liebeshouse. We had a bunch of creative ladies from the New York area, fabulous decor by Gilit, and I prepared some of my favorite tasty snacks.
Gilit really outdid herself on the picnic decor, with an adorable pink cake stand, a hand painted picnic blanket, and of course her wonderful banners. She even prepared gift bags with tiny personalized name banners for every guest that were so cute I could have died.
There were flower crowns from A Golden Garden, which were super festive and looked fantastic on everyone. Everything was wonderfully cute, from the crowns to the cake stand, to the mason jars of lavender limeade, the lovely flowers Alicia put together, even the plates and napkins were adorable.
I had been really wanting to partner up with some other bloggers and put together a little event in the city for a while, so after I did a shoot for Gilit's etsy store I pitched the idea that we could have a picnic gathering, and when she suggested we make it a creative meetup I was into that idea immediately.
We decided on a garden party themed picnic, and I prepared a plethora of finger foods both savory and sweet. I kept it all vegetarian which is friendly to more diets, and is much easier to manage than meat dishes. In keeping with our theme, I stuck with classic American flavors and styles, but I can never resist putting a little twist on everything.
Like lavender in the limeade and browned butter in the jam bar crust. Beet dip in lieu of hummus, and watermelon served with feta. I mixed in a few new dishes with a bunch of my classics and standards, like the lime sugar cookie recipe I'm sharing with you today, which I have been making for six years.
The lavender limeade is also one of my go-to recipes, when I lived in Washington in college I loved to serve it at parties and potlucks, it made me feel very classy. Especially when made with sparkling water.
The full menu included:
Za'atar Beet Dip with Pita
Watermelon & Feta skewers
Fennel, Lemon, and Almond Tapenade on Crostini
Lime Sugar Cookies
Blueberry Oatmeal Jam Bars
Brown Butter rice crispy treats
Sparkling Water with citrus
I'll be sharing nearly all the recipes broken up over the next few blog posts, along with more photos from the picnic. I thought I would start with the Lime Sugar Cookies because as mentioned, they are one of my favorite recipes to throw together. The recipe is modified from a recipe on a food blog that no longer exists, who had modified it from this Pinch My Salt recipe.
The cookies are light and fluffy with a lovely lime twist, and they melt in your mouth. They make a lovely housewarming gift, a wonderful addition to a potluck, and of course a fabulous dessert at a summer picnic!
Lime Sugar Cookies
makes 30-40 cookies
1 1/2 C sugar
1 cup butter, (2 sticks) room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
Juice of 2 limes (use the ones you zested)
Zest of 1 lime
2 3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
Lime Sugar for coating:
1/2 C sugar
Zest of 2 limes
Begin with the lime coating sugar, combine the zest of two limes (I like to use my microphone as a zester, it's a godsend), with 1/2 C sugar in the bowl of your food processor, and pulse the processor several times until the zest is chopped up and well combined with the sugar. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
For the dough, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix well with a fork or whisk.
In a separate bowl, or in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar, using an electric mixer, or a fork and strong arms, until creamy and smooth. Beat in the lime juice, lime zest, and vanilla, then add eggs one at a time, beating well.
Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time, with mixer set to a slow speed, or while mixing by hand, until flour is well incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour, or as long as you like. I refrigerated mine overnight and it worked great.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Using a spoon, scoop dough and roll into balls with around a 1 inch diameter. Roll each ball in the lime coating sugar, then place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and use the bottom of a glass to press the ball into a little disk with a 1/3" thickness, keep atleast 1.5" between cookies to allow for spreading.
Bake for 10-14 minutes, until the edges just barely begin to turn golden. Allow to cool on tray for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!