The snowy weather inspired me to host a tropical theme party for our good friends Linda and Martin and their ten year old daughter Adrianna. Truth be told, the party was as much for the adults as it was for the kids. Who isn’t done with winter at this point in the year?
The snow was piled high outside but that didn’t stop me from decorating the inside “island-style”. We turned up the thermostat and when our guests arrived, they were greeted at the front door with flip flops. I draped beach towels over the living room chairs and couches and lit a few coconut-scented candles.
I bought some banana leaves and used them as the runner and placemats for my table (I found them for $1 at the New City Asian Supermarket in downtown
). I scattered graham cracker crumbs as faux sand on top, then finished with key limes, whole coconuts, baby bananas and sprigs of fresh flowers. Kitchener
After a bit of chit chat we headed for the kitchen and got to work. First, we made mango banana daiquiris for the adults and virgin strawberry daiquiris for the kids (complete with mini umbrellas, of course). We made a tropical pineapple, red pepper and cucumber salad to go with dinner, which was Hawaiian pizza.
Adrianna loves to bake and decorate cookies so I special ordered some tropical and beach themed cookie cutters from Golda’s Kitchen (www.goldaskitchen.com) for these delicious key lime cookies.
Key Lime Cookies
makes about 2 dozen medium sized cookies
ingredients for cookies
¾ (three-quarters) cup sugar
2 (two) tablespoons freshly grated lime zest (use a microplane or a box grater)
1 (one) cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (one) egg
1 (one) teaspoon almond extract
2½ (two-and-one-half) cups all purpose flour
½ (one-half) teaspoon salt
ingredients for lime icing
¼ (one-quarter) cup unsalted butter, melted
3 (three) cups icing sugar
¼ (one-quarter) cup key lime juice (or use juice from regular limes)
method for cookies
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse sugar and lime zest together for about 20 seconds.
2. Beat butter and reserved lime sugar mixture together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) until well incorporated and butter is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3. Add in egg and almond extract, scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. On low speed, add in flour and salt until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Preheat oven to 350º F. Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to ¼ (one-quarter) inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutters, then transfer cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until very lightly browned around the edges. Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with lime icing and additional lime zest and/or toasted coconut, if desired.
method for icing
1. Combine melted butter, lime juice and icing sugar together until smooth.