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Bring a little citrus to your season with these Lime Meltaways! These bite-size slice-and-bake shortbread cookies are made with lime zest and coated in powdered sugar for a sweet, citrus flavor that melts in your mouth.

I’m obsessed with citrus desserts (hello Key Lime Pie!). If you are too, you might also want to try my Double Lemon Glazed Cookies (they get overlooked but they are one of my favorite cookies of all time!), Key Lime Cupcakes or Coconut Lime Glazed Banana Bread next!

An image of lime meltaway cookies on a plate.

Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite traditions! I love this trying a few new cookie varieties every holiday season.

This year I thought I would try something different and fun by participating in a virtual holiday cookie exchange with some of my blogging friends.

An image of powdered sugar covered lime cookies.

We were each assigned another blogger in the group and tasked with making one of their signature holiday treats secretly.

I found these new-to-me lime meltaways on my assigned site, Life Currents, and I knew I had to make them!

An image of bite-size lime meltaway cookies in green cupcake wrappers.

Debi, who is the talent behind Life Currents, has so many amazing recipes to choose from, but I was limited to just her holiday recipes, which helped me narrow my search.

I really wanted to make her peppermint crunch ice cream since it’s one of my favorite seasonal flavors and you know how I feel about homemade ice cream! But the assignment was cookies or candy that could be shared with neighbors and friends so I kept digging.

I was also super tempted by her candied hazelnuts because they look so sophisticated and I love, love, love candied nuts. But I just couldn’t resist her beautiful, citrus-kissed and powdered sugar coated lime meltaway cookies once I saw them.

An image of lime meltaways stacked on each other.

What is a meltaway cookie?

A meltaway is a specific type of cookie that is so tender and soft that it literally feels like it is melting inside your mouth.

It is so incredible and irresistible that you may even find yourself eating them by the handfuls because you can’t keep yourself away. 

An image of powdered sugar coated lime shortbread cookies.    

How to make these lime meltaway cookies

  1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar on medium-high speed until it’s light and pale, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and then mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt, mixing until combined. At first, it might not seem like the dough will come together, but let it keep mixing and it will form into a nice dough, about the with a similar consistency to that of play-dough.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each half into a 1 1/4-inch diameter log (about 9-inches long each). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the two logs of dough and slice into 1/4-inch discs using a sharp knife. Place the disks on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 13-14 minutes until barely golden around the edges.
  6. Cool for 8-10 minutes, and then transfer half of the cookies to a large Ziploc bag along with the reserved 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. Toss gently to coat each cookie with powdered sugar, then remove the cookies to a plate and repeat with the remaining cookies. 
  7. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks. Supposedly they taste even better after a week or two since the lime flavor comes through stronger, but I haven’t been able to keep any around that long!

A collage of images showing how to make lime meltaway shortbread cookies. An image of a roll of slice-and-bake lime shortbread cookie dough. An image of slice-and-bake cookies in a resealable bag with powdered sugar for dusting. 

You are going to lose a few cookies during the part where you toss them with powdered sugar. Some might break into smaller pieces while being tossed with the powdered sugar, but they still taste good!

In fact, those are the ones everybody in my family fights over!

And because the cookies are so small to begin with and there are so many of them, it’s not a huge deal to lose a few during the coating process.

An image of lime meltaway cookies on a baking sheet right after being tossed with powdered sugar.

Can you freeze these cookies?

Yes, you can! If you plan on freezing the cookies after they have cooled then I recommend either doing it before the powdered sugar has been applied or after thawing cookies, repeat the powdered sugar application so that they look pretty. 

Do I have to chill my dough?

For these cookies, chilling the dough is essential for keeping the consistency correct.

With the dough being chilled in logs, you not only make it easier to cut the dough into discs, but you also make it so that the dough is nice and cold when baked so that the cookie can retain its shape better and not get flat and chewy.

An image of lime meltaway cookies stacked on a plate. An image of citrus shortbread cookies on a plate. 

Other Citrus Recipes You’ll Enjoy

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An image of lime meltaway cookies on a plate.
Yield: 36-48 Cookies

Lime Meltaways

Bring a little citrus to your season with these Lime Meltaways! These bite-size slice-and-bake shortbread cookies are made with lime zest and coated in powdered sugar for a sweet, citrus flavor that melts in your mouth.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and pale, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt, mixing until combined. At first it might not seem like the dough will come together, but let it keep mixing and it will form into a nice dough, about the consistency of play-dough.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each half into a 1 1/4-inch diameter log (about 9-inches long each). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the two logs of dough and slice into 1/4-inch discs using a sharp knife. Place the disks on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 13-14 minutes until barely golden around the edges.
  6. Cool for 8-10 minutes, then transfer half of the cookies to a large ziploc bag along with the reserved 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. Toss gently to coat each cookie with powdered sugar, then remove the cookies to a plate and repeat with the remaining cookies. A few of the cookies will probably break while being tossed with the powdered sugar, but they still taste good!
  7. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks. Supposedly they taste even better after a week or two since the lime flavor comes through stronger, but I haven't been able to keep any around that long!

Notes

  • These cookies freeze well for up to 2 months.
  • These would also be delicious made with lemon, orange, or even grapefruit juice and zest.

Recipe from Life Currents, as adapted from Martha Stewart.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g

Take a look at all of our 2019 Freaky Friday Holiday Cookie Exchange Recipes: