This recipe took 2nd place at our 2014 Iowa State Fair Contest for Spiced Cookies!

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 Cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin, Ground
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz) Jello cheesecake flavored instant pudding
2 large eggs
2 tsp lime juice
1 large jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped (about 1/4 C)
Zest of 3 limes (divided)
1-1/4 Cup granulated sugar

STEPS

Make the lime sugar by mixing the zest from 2 limes with 3/4 Cup sugar. Process well in a food processor. Once mixture is blended, stir in 1/2 Cup additional sugar. Spread lime sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to dry for 1 hour. (Can be refrigerated for up to one month.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together first 6 ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne) into a large bowl. Set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add instant pudding, mixing well. Add the eggs, lime juice, jalapeno, and remaining lime zest, mixing until well blended. Scrape down sides of bowl with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, as necessary. Slowly add flour/spice mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing well.

Using a melon baller, scoop dough and then roll each dough ball in lime sugar. Drop dough on to an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. After one minute, transfer cookies from pan to wire rack to cool.

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