Even if you can’t go on a tropical escape, these Key Lime Cooler Snowball Cookies will make it feel like you’re taking a vacation! Soft, tender and sweet with a hint of tangy key lime flavor in every bite!
Who else feels like they want to escape this crazy pandemic by fleeing to an isolated tropical beach island? As long as the island still has a bartender and a massage therapist, I am good to go with a stack of books or magazines and a pina colada. (And okay, I get that a massage is close contact and yada yada, but your girl has some serious knotted shoulders from all this virus stress!)
Anyway, let’s not talk about the craziness happening and let’s instead focus on these cookies!
Raise your hand if you love snowball cookies! Also known as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes, snowballs (as I call them) are one of my absolute favorites during the holiday season. Traditionally made with ground pecans, they’re a soft and tender cookie that practically melts in your mouth and is seriously irresistible (if not a little bit messy from all the powdered sugar!). But I don’t know why we limit them to Christmastime when the whole year deserves a little hint of snowy goodness.
And since I could definitely use a tropical vacation right about now, I figured I would jazz up the traditional Christmas cookie and make it a little more springy and bright with key lime flavors!
For not liking sour things, I am a lover of key lime. Authentic Key lime pie from Miami cannot be beat, and I love the sweet and tangy edge. These Key Lime Cooler Snowball Cookies are the perfect blend of a tropical vacation in a holiday cookie and I know you’re going to love them!
To really ramp up the Key lime flavor, I used Key lime pie juice which is essential for the most authentic flavor. You can find it on the juice aisle at most grocery stores. However, since the actual fresh Key limes aren’t as common in my grocery stores, I used regular lime zest and it tastes just fine! Of course, if you can find real, fresh Key limes, I’d use those in a heartbeat!
While these cookies have a hint of sweet and tangy lime, you can make them super lime-y by adding in some lime extract. Just like vanilla extract, but it is made with a concentrated lime flavor to really punch up the lime in these cookies. My friends and family liked my cookies as is without the lime extract, but again, if you really want a sucker punch of lime, use some!
And to make these cookies reminiscent of classic Key lime pie, I also added in some graham cracker crumbs to the dry ingredients for some texture, sweetness and a hint of the Keys!
Soft, sweet, tender and tangy Key Lime Cooler Snowball Cookies… never again will we limit snowballs to winter!
*adapted from King Arthur Flour
- ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons) butter, softened (I used unsalted butter)
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Zest of two limes
- 2 Tablespoons Key lime juice
- ⅛ teaspoon lime extract (optional but if you want it super lime-y, use it)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the salt, baking powder, lime zest, lime juice, egg, and lime extract (if using), mixing well. Lastly, add in the flour and graham cracker crumbs and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Dough may be a little crumbly or shaggy; this is normal.
- Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop out 1" size balls of dough and place 1" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time to ensure even browning and cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes of cooling, carefully roll the cookies into the confectioners' sugar to coat. Place coated cookies on a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cooled completely, roll the cookies a second time in the confectioners' sugar so they get really coated. Serve or store immediately.
You are going to love the bright and zesty lime flavor in these yummy cookies!
Craving more lime goodness? Check out these other recipes!
Have a super sweet day!