Key Lime Cookies are buttery goodness with just the right amount of tangy lime flavor. A light 2 ingredient glaze is the perfect finish!
Do you have to use key limes?
The short answer to that question is... No, you do not. Key limes have a slight difference in taste from the more common Persian limes. But, truthfully once the juice is cooked in a recipe like these cookies, most people won't be able to tell which one you used.
Key limes are smaller, more yellow in color and the skin is thinner. They are wonderful, and if you have them or have access to some, by all means, use them! But, if you prefer to make these cookies with regular green Persian limes you should do that.
You'll be zesting and juicing the limes and you will actually find it easier with the larger, thicker skinned limes.
Other ingredients and substitutions
Self rising flour - We use it in a lot of recipes to cut down on the ingredient list, but if you don't have any you can use the formula found in our Buttermilk 3 Ingredient Biscuit post.
Butter - Whether you use salted or unsalted these cookies will be amazing!
Sugar - standard granulated sugar goes in the cookies themselves.
Egg - the large size is what we always use and recommend.
Vanilla - pure extract
Confectioners Sugar - also known as powdered sugar goes into the glaze.
(see recipe card for exact proportions)
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The best way to zest and juice limes
First of all, do these two steps in that order. Zest first, and then juice. You don't want to be trying to zest an already squeezed lime.
Beyond that, the tools you use will make easy work of these tasks.
A microplane grater is the way to go for zesting any type of citrus fruit. If you don't have one we highly recommend adding it to your utensil drawer. We use ours in making these Goat Cheese Appetizers, Greek Chicken Skewers and the marinade/dressing for Salad with Oranges and Asparagus.
For juicing this is the most highly recommended tool on our site. A citrus juicer just like this one gets used in making Mini Lemon Tarts and Roasted Carrots and Green Beans as well as many other recipes. You'll love it!
How to make these cookies
- Starting with room temperature butter, you'll cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg (also room temperature), vanilla, zest and juice until well combined.
- Add the flour (either by hand or at low speed of a hand mixer) just until well blended.
- Chill the dough for about an hour to prevent excessive spreading when they bake.
- Drop by Tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until light golden brown on bottom and around the edges.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Blend the confectioners sugar and additional juice and zest until smooth and glaze each cookie after completely cooled. After about 10-15 minutes the glaze will harden enough to stack the cookies.
Tips and tricks we want to share
If you forgot to get your egg out to come to room temperature, just put it in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Chilling the dough keeps the cookies from spreading and getting too thin while they bake.
A cookie scoop is the best way to get consistently sized cookies. Click over here to go to a set with three sizes. The 1 Tablespoon size is what we recommend for this recipe.
Always keep an eye on small items like cookies. Ovens vary, the type of pan you use can affect cook time and browning and they can go from undercooked to overcooked quite quickly.
How to glaze cookies
Have fun with this! With this one recipe we used 3 different methods:
First we put some glaze into a small squeeze bottle and drizzled it back and forth. That will give you a very light amount on each cookie.
Then we put glaze into a measuring cup or cream pitcher with a spout and just poured into the center of the cookie.
Lastly, we put the glaze in a bowl and turned a cookie upside down and give it a couple of spins before pulling it out.
For the last two methods you'll want to put your cookies back onto a cooling rack set over something like parchment paper so excess glaze can drip off.
For a fun 15 second look at these 3 glazing methods check out this quick YouTube video.
Key Lime Cookies
For the Cookies
For the Glaze
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime zest from about 1½ large limes
- 2-3 Tablespoons lime juice
For the Cookies
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, preferably with a hand mixer.
- Add egg, vanilla, zest and juice and blend until well combined.
- Add in flour (by hand or on low speed of mixer) just until well blended.
- Chill dough for about 1 hour.
- Drop by Tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees or until bottoms and edges are a light golden brown.
- Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack to complete cooling.
For the Glaze
- Blend confectioners sugar, zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Start with 2 Tablespoons of juice and add more if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Let butter come to room temperature before using.
- Let egg come to room temperature before using. A cold egg can be placed in bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- Be sure to chill dough before making cookies.
- A cookie scoop is recommended for uniform sized cookies.