There's a bit more to this story. The recipe calls for forming the dough into cylinders, and for the life of me, I could not get a perfectly round tube of dough. The pathetic aesthetic was further accentuated by the fact that when I put the dough on a plate to chill in the fridge, the bottom side took a flat shape and when slicing off the 1/4-inch "rounds", mine weren't, sadly. Round, that is. They were roundish, with one straight edge - if you can imagine that. It was near catastrophic. Soooooooo, Plan B. Okay Life, if this is how it's going to be... I can "fix it" as my childhood art teacher, Mrs. Kinney, used to say when I would ask if I could start over. Ironically, I've thought about her a couple of times lately. For the first time in almost twenty years. So I fixed it. I took small handfuls of the dough and rolled them out to a 1/4"-thick, and then used a cookie cutter. Not bad. Then I joyfully sprinkled the sugar all over the place.
For the cookies:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups raw cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 large lime, and 1 lemon
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 24 pieces
2 large eggs
For the sugar coating:
1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
zest of 1/2 a lime and 1/2 a lemon
Mix the flour, 1 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and zests in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 times to reduce the zest to smaller pieces.
Add the butter and pulse until it is completely mixed into the dry ingredients, but the mixture is still powdery. Add the eggs and pulse until the dough forms a ball. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and divide into two equal pieces. Form each into a ridiculous wannabe cylinder about 8 inches long.
Clean any flour off the work surface and combine the 1 1/2 cup sugar and lime zest, working together with fingertips for a minute to release the lime flavor into the sugar. Pour the sugar onto the work surface in a wide line about 8 inches long. Roll one of the logs of dough in it to coat the outside completely. Repeat with the other log of dough. Wrap each log of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the logs of dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange them on prepared pans about 1 inch apart on all sides. See how silly they look. Laugh nervously, panic briefly, and then opt for rolling the dough out to a 1/4" thick, working in small batches and being careful to handle it as little as possible. Cut the desired shape out with a cookie cutter. Repeat with the second log of dough, or wrap, freeze, and save it for another day.
Bake the cookies until they are firm and golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vise versa, turning the pans from back to front at the same time. Slide the papers off the pans to cool the cookies. If you only have one pan of cookies to bake, adjust the racks to the middle of the oven.
Store cookies at room temperature between sheets of wax paper in an air-tight container.
Makes 40-60 cookies, depending on the size.
Adapted from The Modern Baker.