Key lime pie, the smooth/creamy/tangy nirvana of tropical desserts, is a Florida restaurant cliché. You can’t travel 10 miles in the Sunshine State without finding a menu offering Key Lime Pie as a featured dessert.
And why not? It’s sweet, it’s rich, and it has the ability to tickle your tongue with its assertive sour-yet-tasty flavor. Key lime pie is what would happen if you combined a margarita with Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla.
But Key lime pie has its downside. It’s not something you’d make every day. Any kind of pie, no matter how basic, is kind of a project.
And it’s not easily transportable. I mean, you wouldn’t stick a slice of Key lime pie in your backpack and take it on a 10-mile hike. Or grab a slice to munch on in the car.
Enter lime cookies. They have that same wonderful lime flavor (even if they're not strictly Key lime, but just plain old Persian lime). Stop right there if you like: coat ’em with confectioners’ sugar, and they’re starkly sweet-sour.
But add a smear of white chocolate icing, and they edge closer to Key lime pie-dom. Sweet-sour, creamy-crunchy, and eminently portable: that’s Luscious Lime Cookies.
OK, let me head off your questions right now: Can I make these cookies without lime oil and lime powder?
Sure. They won't taste the same. Grated lime rind can only do so much. These are extra-strong concentrates; a little goes a long way.
Plus, with the price of limes these days, I'd rather save them for my drinks. You know, like limeade!
So let's make Luscious Lime Cookies. I'll show you two options for finishing them – one with white chocolate, one with extra lime flavor.
Combine the following in a bowl:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons lime juice powder (depending on the degree of tartness you like)
1/2 teaspoon lime oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
*Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you're using salted butter.
Mix in 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.
Cover the dough, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
Just before baking, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Drop the cookies by the teaspoonful onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. A level teaspoon cookie scoop does a great job here.
By the way, did you know that “teaspoonful,” in cookie-land, actually measures 2 level measuring teaspoons? The original teaspoon measure was simply a standard spoon – equivalent to 2 of our measuring teaspoons today (and also the volume of our teaspoon cookie scoop, pictured above).
Stagger them, as pictured, so they don't run into each other while they're baking.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes.
They'll flatten gently as they bake.
When done, they'll feel set, and be very lightly browned around the edges.
Now, if you choose to coat these in sugar rather than frost with white chocolate, place the following in a shallow dish or covered container:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lime powder
I'm using a yogurt container here.
After the cookies have cooled for about 10 minutes (but still feel a bit warm), put 4 or 5 cookies at a time into the container...
...and gently shake to coat with the sugar.
Place them on a rack. Notice that some of the sugar soaks into the warm cookies. That's OK; you're going to coat them again.
Once the cookies are completely cool, coat them in the sugar a second time. The cookie on the bottom has had just one coat of sugar; on the top, a double coat.
How about spreading with white chocolate icing, instead of coating with sugar?
Be my guest!
Soften 2/3 cup (about 4 ounces) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
Dip the top of each cookie in the white chocolate...
When you get down towards the end of the chocolate, you'll need to spread it on with a table knife.
And how about flavoring the white chocolate with lime oil?
Well, you can; but it tints the chocolate kind of a weird color. If you don't mind an odd look, go for it!
Sugared, or frosted?
Take your pick. Sugared are more lime-y; frosted, less messy.
If you're a white chocolate fan, frosted is probably the way to go. The smooth, sweet chocolate plays very nicely with the assertively tangy lime in a very pretty way.
Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Luscious Lime Cookies.
P.S. Thanks to Jennifer, one of our readers, for suggesting putting Key lime and white chocolate together in a cookie. Here they are, Jennifer – enjoy!