Saturday, March 17, 2018

Key Lime Shamrock Cookies

Pin It Key Lime Shamrock Cookies

Key Lime Shamrock Cookies

Key Lime Shamrock Cookies
Happy St. Patrick's Day! This morning I baked 3 dozen Key Lime Shamrock Cookies. This recipe is almost the same one I made in 2016 except I replaced lime for key lime, and added key lime juice in the royal icing as well. The key lime juice and zest really bring out a fresh flavor that reminds me spring is almost here, and the cookies smell and taste great. The recipe is adapted from Sweetopia (link below), but I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup and just added more zest. The cookies are tender, with a balanced lime flavor from the juice and zest and are not too sweet. I purchased the pretty Shamrock plate from Party City. I share the recipe below.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

Mini Shamrocks and Lucky Coins

Key Lime Shamrock Cookies
2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and each stick cut into 8 cubes

2 Large Eggs

1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

5 cups All Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur)

Zest of 3 Key Limes

3 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Key Lime Juice

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

Key Lime Shamrock Cookies

Medium sized Shamrocks
Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces.

Sift flour and salt in large bowl and combine with whisk or spatula; put aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment on low to medium speed. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix again for 5-10 seconds more.

Shamrock close-up

Shamrocks close-up
Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down bowl with spatula and mix again for another 5 seconds.

Add key lime zest and key lime juice and mix for 30-45 seconds.

Slowly add flour mixture and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes.

When dough clumps around paddle attachment it is ready.

Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and cool in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight. I was pressed for time and put my dough in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Shamrocks close-up

Shamrocks close-up
Take 1/4 of the dough (leave the rest of the dough covered in the fridge), and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. With rolling pin roll out to desired thickness, and cut out shapes.

Repeat rolling the dough and cutting shapes until you use it all.

Place shamrock shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and space apart 2 inches.

Tip: Put cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. They hold their shape when you do this.

Bake cookies for 9-13 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Tip: Since oven temperatures vary check the cookies at the 10 minute mark and adjust baking time accordingly.

Let cookies cool in baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Let cookie sheets cool completely before you bake again.

Tip: I put the cookie sheets in the freezer for a few minutes.

Repeat until you have baked all the cookies.

Shamrocks close-up

Sprinkles are so much fun to decorate cookies with!
Royal Icing
4 Egg Whites

4 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon Fresh Key Lime Juice

1-4 teaspoons Water, as needed

6 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

Shamrock close-up

Border on a cookie
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer the egg whites and lemon juice mixture to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add key lime juice and mix on high for 30 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Only use the amount of water you need.

Lots of sprinkles to choose from makes decorating the cookies more fun.

St. Patrick's Sprinkle Mix I put together for this recipe.
Watch the Joy of Baking (link below) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing.

If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

I separate the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the amount of colors I need for tinting.

I use Americolor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Green and Yellow. I made two shades of green for color variation.

Royal Icing hardens fast so keep it covered when not in use.

Shamrock shapes on dough. You can clearly see zest in each one.

About the chill the Key Lime Cookie Dough in the fridge.
I transfer the icing immediately into Squeeze Bottles since it starts crusting quickly.

If the Royal Icing hardens due to exposure to air, spray a little bit of water into squeeze bottle and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Be sure to test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

Warning: Too much water will cause the color to bleed so try to avoid having to do this by keeping the icing covered at all times when you are not using it.

As you are icing the cookies, use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

I place a paper towel under a wire rack and also use a baking sheet when I decorate the cookies. I run out of wire racks quickly so I do both.

In addition to putting together my own St. Patrick's Sprinkles Mix, I use various sanding sugars, sugar pearls, jimmies, etc... Variety is key.

Let the cookies dry overnight.

For the citrus sugar cookie recipe, please visit Sweetopia:

For the Royal Icing recipe and video tutorial, please visit:

For more information on St. Patrick and the history of St. Patrick's Day, please visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Atlantic City Restaurant Week

Pin It Atlantic City Restaurant Week
March 4-9, 2018

Allen at KWI Noodle House

Sophia at KWI Noodle House
Every year Sophia and I go to Atlantic City Restaurant Week. This year we went on Sunday, March 5 until Tuesday, March 7. We participated in the Lunch menu at a cost of $15.18 per person, which is a great deal. We went to two Asian restaurants KWI Noodle House, and Noodle Village, and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville before we got on our bus back home at Resorts. Everywhere we ate was great and our trip was a nice getaway both relaxing and fun.

KWI Noodle House, Green Tea

KWI Noodle House, Allen's Hot and Sour Soup

KWI Noodle House, Sophia's Egg Drop Soup
KWI Noodle House
After we checked in to our Ocean View Jubilee room at Bally's Tower on Sunday March 5, we went to Caesars to dine at KWI Noodle House for lunch. KWI Noodle House overlooks the High Stakes Poker Room and features a warm décor that is welcoming and cozy. We were served green tea with our meals. For the appetizer, I got the most wonderful Spicy Hot and Sour Soup I ever had, and Sophia ordered Egg Drop Soup, which was flavorful and yummy!

KWI Noodle House, Beef with Broccoli and Jasmine Rice

KWI Noodle House, Beef with Broccoli close-up
The entrée I chose was Black Pepper Chicken Lo Mein, and I was very impressed with this meal and the pepper gave it a kick. The noodles in the lo mein were flavorful and soft. Sophia ordered Beef with Broccoli and Jasmine Rice. The sauce was packed with great bold flavor and seasoned well, and the beef was soft and cooked perfectly, and the jasmine rice complimented each bite. The broccoli was tender but not overly so and just right.

KWI Noodle House, Allen's Black Pepper Chicken Lo Mein

KWI Noodle House, Allen's Black Pepper Chicken Lo Mein close-up
Our dessert was Coconut Rice Pudding topped with whipped cream and with a bit of crunch from the coconut. The texture was creamy and fluffy, and the coconut taste was just right. This dessert was a perfect end to our lunch.

KWI Noodle House, Coconut Rice Pudding
Our server was very good and polite. For a first time dining experience at KWI Noodle House, we were impressed and will eat there again.

Noodle Village, Sophia

Noodle Village, Allen

Noodle Village
We ate our Atlantic City Restaurant Week lunch at Noodle Village in Bally's on Monday, March 6, just a quick walk from the elevator from our hotel room. We came here for some authentic Asian cuisine. We were served green tea and chose our entrees from the Restaurant Week menu. The appetizer was a fresh and crispy Vietnamese Spring Roll with a Fish Sauce for dipping, and it was very good.

Noodle Village, Green Tea

Noodle Village
For my entrée, I chose the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and Jasmine Rice. The dish had 6 pieces of jumbo shrimp with melt in your mouth ground pork sauteed in a hearty egg sauce. All the flavors blended well and I put my jasmine rice in the dish to soak up the egg sauce. I also added a few drops of Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha to spice it up. I was impressed with the flavors of my entree dish.

Vietnamese Spring Roll with Fish Sauce for dipping

Noodle Village, Allen holding up one of his faves, Sriracha

Noodle Village, Allen's Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and Jasmine Rice
Sophia ordered Beef Mei Fun, wok-stirred flank beef with onions, beansprouts, and garlic scented mei fun noodles. Sophia said the beef had a perfect sear and the seasoning overall was great. The garlic scented noodles really complimented the dish. It was crunchy and soft in texture and well rounded.

Noodle Village, Sophia's Beef Mei Fun

Noodle Village, Almond Cookie
For dessert, we got a large Almond Cookie which was soft and chewy and had a lovely almond flavor with slivered almonds on top, adding a little crunch in every bite. It is great to have an authentic Asian restaurant at Bally's to dine at. We had a great experience and super service. I shall return!

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Allen

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Sophia

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
On March 7, our last day of Atlantic City Restaurant Week, we ate lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in Resorts. The restaurant looks out into the boardwalk in the front of the hotel and casino. The restaurant is beach themed with palm trees painted inside, boats made into large booths, a tiki bar in the back, a chill bar, and wooden sea birds and pelicans throughout not to mention lots of surfboards with TVs embedded all over playing music videos of Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock, country, rock and pop bands. The size of this place is big and the ambiance is the bringing the beach inside giving the place a happy and relaxed feel.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Tossed Fresh Greens Salad 

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Allen's Island Cuban Sandwich

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, Allen's Island Cuban Sandwich close-up
For the appetizer, we had Tossed Fresh Greens Salad with choice of dressing. For the entrée, I chose a very tasty Island Cuban Sandwich with pulled pork, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, lots of sliced pickles and mustard. The Cuban was all pressed and toasted in authentic crusty Cuban loaf with skin on french fries. The Cuban was the best I've had since living in Tampa, FL in the 80s where I got the best Cubans so this was a real treat indeed.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Sophia's California Grilled Cheeseburger Panini

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Sophia's California Grilled Cheeseburger Panini close-up
Sophia ordered the California Grilled Cheeseburger Panini Style Sandwich with a whopping 7 oz. beef (medium) with Haas avocado, ripe red tomatoes and crispy bacon on a hearty white bread grilled on an Italian inspired Panini press. It was served with a pepper on top, creamy California buttermilk ranch dressing, and skin on french fries. The burger was cooked medium as requested and the beef tasted so good. Sophia loved the avocados and the bacon and the panini was pressed just right.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Allen's NY Cheesecake

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Sophia's Vanilla Ice Cream
I had the NY Cheesecake for my dessert and it was a big generous piece and very satisfying. Sophia ordered the Vanilla Ice Cream, which was smooth, creamy and great tasting. We had a great server, and I was impressed they have Tabanero as their hot sauce. That was definitely a plus as well as I love Tabanero. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville = good times and great food. See you again this summer for dinner.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, lovely anchor decor

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, too early for the Chill Bar

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, cool plane prop
For further information about Atlantic City Restaurant Week, visit:

-Allen and Sophia/Two Frys