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I have only recently hopped on board the citrus train. It’s not that I never enjoyed a citrus pastry product. It’s more that I liked other flavors better. But these days, I have come to love a good citrus dessert.

I recently came into possession of many limes. (Thanks, Misfits Market!) I thought about using them for a nice entrée, or for cocktails, but then I decided I needed a lime cookie in my life. After much research, I settled on a recipe that had all kinds of great ratings, which I now find baffling. The cookies were more like little cakes and barely tasted like lime. So, I decided to let the existing recipes go and develop my own. When you want something done right, do it yourself.

I wanted my lime cookies to be “light” and reminiscent of a Russian tea cake cookie. A cookie that people would enjoy by the pool equally as much as with a cup of tea. I think I accomplished that goal with this recipe.

lime zest of three limes with zester and teaspoon
You only need 2-3 limes for these cookies. Be careful to zest just the peel of the lime and not the pith.
Baked cookies with sugar coating
Moments after the cookies come out of the oven, carefully coat them in a mixture of sugar, lime zest and confectioners sugar.

These lime cookies are very easy to make, and you need only 2 to 3 limes. You can even make them without a mixer:

Whisk dry ingredients

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Massage zest into sugar

When you zest your limes, don’t be overzealous with your zesting! The peel on a lime is thinner than on a lemon, so you should pass the lime once on all sides on the microplane. You want to avoid zesting the pith (the white part just beneath the lime peel) because it will add an unwanted bitterness to your cookies. Once you have your zest measured out, use your fingers to press it into the sugar. This helps release the oils in the lime zest and will enhance the lime flavor in your cookies. Then add the confectioners sugar.

Cream the butter, sugars, and beat in egg and lime juice

Seriously, that sums up this stage. You can cream the butter and sugars by hand or with a mixer. If the batter curdles when you add the egg and lime juice, continue beating until it comes together. If it does not come together, add about 2 tablespoons worth of the flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth.

Add dry ingredients, portion and refrigerate

Add the rest of the flour mixture just until it is fully blended in. I recommend portioning out the cookies into 25 g. each (about 1 tbsp.). Once shaped into balls, cool them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. This will help them keep their shape as they bake.

Bake and coat

While the cookies are baking, press the lime zest into the sugar, just as you did for the cookie dough. Add the confectioners sugar and mix. Approximately 1 minute after the cookies come out of the oven, while they are still hot, roll them in the sugar/zest mixture. Allow them to cool on a wire rack.

lime cookies on cooling rack
The perfect lime flavor for cookies by the pool or to enjoy with a sensible cup of tea!

Looking for a lemon cookie? Check out my Lemon Crescent Cookies!

Lime Cookies

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 135
These zesty lime cookies are the perfect contrast of sweet and sour, making them ideal for a poolside treat or for afternoon tea.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough:

  • 210 g. all purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • tsp. salt
  • 66 g. white sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 45 g. confectioners sugar (¼ cup plus 2 tbsp.)
  • 3 tsps. lime zest (2-3 limes; save the rest of the zest for the coating)
  • 113 g. unsalted butter, softened (½ cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice

Coating:

  • 100 g. sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 60 g. confectioners sugar (½ cup)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar with lime lest, pressing zest into sugar with your fingers. Mix in confectioners sugar. Add butter and cream until fully incorporated.
  • Beat in egg and lime juice.
  • Mix in the flour mixture just until fully incorporated.
  • Shape into balls, approximately 25 g. each (about 1 tbsp.), and place on cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the coating: Combine granulated sugar with lime lest, pressing zest into sugar with your fingers. Whisk in confectioners sugar. Roll warm cookies in mixture.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes. The bottoms should be lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully roll each cookie in the coating while they are still warm. Allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Notes

  • This recipe can easily be doubled.
  • If the dough curdles when you add the egg and lime juice, mix in approximately 2 tablespoons worth of the flour mixture until the batter is smooth. Then fold in the remaining flour mixture just until it is fully incorporated.
  • There is enough coating to roll the cookies in the mixture twice.
  • Do not skip refrigerating the cookie dough balls. Putting them in the oven while they are cold helps keep their shape.
  • The refrigerated cookie dough balls can be refrigerated for up to a couple of days and baked as desired. Alternatively, they can be frozen so you can bake just a few cookies when you want, but you may need to add another minute or two of baking time.
  • The baked cookies freeze wonderfully and defrost in approximately 10 minutes.
Calories: 135kcal
Course: Dessert, Snack, Tea Time
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lime, tea cookies

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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