Key lime slice-and-bake cookies are a one-pot wonder that have a bit of a shortbread feel, but with a tangy lime flavor. Rolled in raw sugar and then dunked in a lime glaze, they’re just sweet enough.
Even though I add little shortcuts to recipes and cut back on steps wherever I could, these are all recipes you can absolutely take to any event—potlucks, picnics, work gatherings, holiday parties—and get asked, “How did you make this? It’s SO good! Can I have the recipe?” And that’s my goal: giving you recipes that you can bake no matter your level of baking experience, won’t take you ages to make, won’t leave you with a mountain of dirty bowls, and will still trick people into thinking you’re another Martha.–Stephanie Simmons
Key Lime Slice-and-Bake Cookies FAQs
My glaze is a bit runny, how can I fix it?
Generally, the reason that glaze is too runny is that too much liquid was mixed in. Mix in a tiny bit more powdered sugar at a time until it’s thick enough to stay in place. Once the glaze has set, if it’s rather warm in your kitchen, store them in the fridge so that the glaze doesn’t melt and run.
Can I leave slice-and-bake cookie dough in the freezer?
Yes! Because this recipe makes two logs of slice-and-bake cookies, you can leave one in the freezer and bake ’em later. Well-wrapped, the frozen dough will be good for up to three months. Let it thaw in the fridge, then slice and bake as directed.
Key Lime Slice-and-Bake Cookies
For the key lime cookies
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) salted butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 large lime (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice (add 1 extra teaspoon [15 ml] if using regular lime juice)
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Coarse or raw sugar for rolling
For the glaze
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon lime juice (omit the extra 1/2 teaspoon if using key lime juice)
- Lime zest preferably organic
Make the key lime cookies
- In the bowl of a fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the softened butter. Add the sugar and mix until well combined.
- Stir the egg, vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice and mix until just combined. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt and mix just until the last streaks of flour disappear into the dough.
- Divide the dough into two equal sections. Shape into logs that are about 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) long and 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) wide.
- Pour your coarse or raw sugar onto a plate and roll each dough log through it to cover in the sugar.
- Wrap each log separately in plastic wrap. Place each log inside a drinking glass laid on its side so it is encapsulated inside the glass. This helps keep the cookies round while they chill. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour or in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Unwrap one of the dough logs. Move the other from the freezer to the fridge so it doesn’t freeze solid on you. Slice the log into 12 to 14 even slices.
- Place the cookies at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart on one prepared baking sheet. If the cookie dough softened quite a bit while you worked with it, pop the sheet back in the fridge to chill for 5 minutes before baking. Repeat with the remaining dough log.
- Bake one sheet of cookies at a time until the edges have a hint of golden brown, 15 to 16 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Glaze the cookies
- While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together all the glaze ingredients along with the lime juice and a few pinches of lime zest.
- When the cookies are cool, dunk them in the glaze, and enjoy!
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
There is something wonderful about a lime-flavored cookie–not too sweet, just the right amount of zip, and, of course, delicious. The base is much like a shortbread.
Everyone who tried these key lime slice-and-bake cookies loved the crunch of the raw sugar around the edges. And not only did they taste good on day 2, but their flavor also seemed a bit more intense. Days 3 and 4 were also delicious. Once the dough is made, why not make one roll and freeze the other to make at a future date?
These key lime slice-and-bake cookies are another good cookie recipe that doesn’t require a ton of work on the baker’s part, just a little time. Seriously, the cookie dough takes no time to make, but it does have to sit in the freezer for an hour. You can make the dough in under 15 minutes in the morning, and have it sliced, baked, cooled, and iced in time for afternoon tea.
I do love a nice shortbread cookie, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint– the lime is subtle but present. The cookie isn’t overly sweet, and the glaze provides a nice sweet-tart pop.
The glaze was a perfect consistency before I added the lime juice, then it became a bit too thin for my liking, but that’s an easy fix by just adding a little more powdered sugar.
These key lime slice-and-bake cookies are simple, light shortbread cookies with a nice lime flavor. They come together quickly and, because you refrigerate the dough, you can make it ahead and just slice and bake when you need them. It is just the right amount of sweet treat with your coffee or tea or would be a nice addition to a cookie plate or sweets tray.
I did find the dough to be very “wet” and somewhat difficult to form into a log. I added a bit more flour in order to be able to handle it and then used waxed paper to form it somewhat into a log. After coating it with the sugar and wrapping it in the plastic wrap, I “rolled’ the log to get a better shape. The glaze recipe makes considerably more than you need. I’ll likely cut it in half the next time.
Originally published November 18, 2021