the taste space

Key Lime Meltaways

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on December 17, 2010


Going to the grocery store can be inspirational, or in my case, bad news.

You see, I might walk in thinking I just want to buy spinach, or chickpeas, or what not, and casually glance at the eggplant on sale and walk home with that as well. It is not unusual for me to come home with 20 limes when they go on sale for $1. I have done this a few times. Without a plan, and they may not necessarily last long enough for me to use them either. My newest trick is to clean my copper-bottomed frypan with half a lime (or lemon) dusted with a bit of salt (my mom teaches me the most awesome things!).

In this case, though, I walked home with a small bag of key limes. They weren’t on sale, but they were just so cute! And definitely not worthy of withering on my counter.

Key limes are totally versatile, right? Hmm, no. But I already knew what I planned to make with them: Key Lime Meltaways.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted her recipe from Martha Stewart.  Unlike Deb, I had to coax every last drop of lime juice from these suckers. We had to pull out all the tricks – microwaving the limes for a 10 seconds, rolling them on the counter and in the end, we also added a bit of pulp to the cookies as well.

Akin to shortbread, these cookies melt in your mouth. They have a hint of tart lime, kept in check with the dusting of icing sugar. Creamy, smooth, tart and sweet all in a cookie.  A nice cookie for your holiday table.

I have nearly a week until I head home for the holidays and plan to eat out of my pantry/fridge/freezer. Wish me luck on not getting too distracted in the grocery store as I pick up more ingredients for holiday baking.


This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything.

Key Lime Meltaways

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
Grated zest of 4 tiny or 2 large key limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (a.k.a. 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

3. Between two 8-by-12-inch pieces of parchment paper, roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

5. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 5 dozen.

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15 Responses

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  1. Priya sreeram said, on December 17, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    hey they look swell and your distraction sure is good for the palate !

  2. Joanne said, on December 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Dude, I do the exact same thing! I’ll go for milk and come home having spent twenty bucks. Usually on chocolate. It’s obscene.

    I SOOO want these cookies! Key lime is one of my favorite flavor combos.

  3. librarybell said, on December 17, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    I want to make these cookies! May have to make them at the same time as my lime pistachio! Excellent!

  4. Priya said, on December 17, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Superb looking scrumptious cookies..

  5. Amy said, on December 18, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    These looks great! I always see those cute little key limes in the grocery store and have to resist buying them. These cookies may provide me with just the excuse I need! One more Christmas cookie on my list :-)

  6. Azita said, on December 18, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    I love cookies and these look mouth-watering delicious!

  7. Ricki said, on December 18, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    I do the same thing when shopping–always bringing home the poor lonely bits of produce! Those cookies look so, so good. Worth the coaxing, I’d say!

  8. cakebrain said, on December 18, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    yummy looking cookies! My mouth is salivating now!

  9. Imwaytoobusy said, on December 19, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Oh, these could be dangerous. They sound amazing! I also have the same grocery store syndrome. The most innocent trips escalate very quickly ;)

  10. [...] me let you in on a secret. I actually haven’t done any holiday baking yet. I made the Key Lime Meltaways last year for Christmas. It took me nearly a year to post all my cookies from my holiday baking [...]

  11. Ashley said, on February 21, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    I already have these on my to make list and seeing yours makes me want to make them even more! Those little key limes are hard to resist..

  12. [...] don’t why, but it takes me a while to post up my sweet treats. Last year, I posted about the Key Lime Meltaways I had made the year earlier! I suppose I like to post things in season.. and come January, cookies [...]

  13. samantha gallagher said, on December 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    I made these last night. I don’t usually comment on a recipe until I’ve actually made it and tried it… and, the results were FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for sharing. For some reason I thought these would be difficult to make but they were so easy. The only ingredient I was missing was lime zest- I used little frozen ice cubes of key limes I grew and juiced months ago. Note to self: When juicing limes from my tree, grate up some zest and freeze that for recipes as well :)

    Thanks again for sharing this!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      Hey Samantha, Thanks for the feedback! I am jealous that you grow your own limes, but this is definitely a great way to use them. :)

  14. [...] stock up on lemons and limes and need frequent replenishment (whereas a year ago, sometimes I would use the limes to clean my pots!). I honestly feel like this has been a blessing to my cooking – the flavours really pop. [...]


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