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. Check out all of my Freaky Friday recipes from past rounds!

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.

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 ⅓ 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 ¼-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 ¼-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 ⅔ 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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Lime Meltaways

5 from 7 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 28 mins
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 36 -48 Cookies
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.

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened 12 tablespoons
  • 1 cup powdered sugar divided
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and ⅓ cup of the powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and pale, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • 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.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each half into a 1 ¼-inch diameter log (about 9-inches long each). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the two logs of dough and slice into ¼-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.
  • Cool for 8-10 minutes, then transfer half of the cookies to a large ziploc bag along with the reserved ⅔ 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!
  • 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

Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Amy, these lime meltaways are beautiful! It's a recipe I have always wanted to try from Debi, and you just sealed the deal! Like you, I love citrus desserts, and the presentation these offer is just top notch! Thanks for being a part of our group! Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  2. These cookies sound absolutely addicting!  I love citrusy cookies and the melt in your mouth texture sounds amazing!  I can't wait to make a batch!

  3. Ooh Amy, these cookies look so easy and delicious and I am thinking I could easily eat a dozen since they melt in your mouth!

  4. Aren't these cookies just so much fun! It's a recipe I've been making for years! And they are so easy. I always get requests for the recipe!

  5. I am pretty sure I would eat this whole tray! I love citrus flavors!! Plus slice and bakes are one of my favorite cookies! 

  6. I love meltaway cookies too! Doesn't help that having them melt in my mouth and not chew means that I tend to eat more of them since I feel like I am not doing any work but enjoying them. I love lime, as you can tell by my margarita obsession, so these are the perfect cookie for me to indulge in!

  7. I don't have any lime cookies in the holiday mix, so I think I need to change that! These look like they would melt in your mouth!

  8. As a big fan of key lime pie and margaritas, I had to try these and they are every bit as delicious as I was hoping they'd be! I have to use a lot of will power to eat only one or two per day. They are THAT GOOD! In the future, these will be an addition to my annual Solstice/Christmas baking list. They are every bit as good as Mexican wedding cookies, one of my all time favorites. I made these exactly according to the recipe except that I was careful to powder them individually so I had no breakage. Best new recipe I have tried in a very long time!

  9. I just made these with key limes from my neighbor's tree (florida, of course) and THEY ARE AMAZING!! I can't stop eating them. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!!

  10. I made these for the December Flavor Challenge! Such tasty morsels. Nice and crunchy with a hint of lime! Careful not to eat them all in one go!

  11. Can the uncooked dough be frozen? This would be the perfect cookie for our family vacation, when I start cooking and baking weeks in advance. Freezing the dough would make life a whole lot easier. Plus....Slice off just a few so as not to eat the whole batch in one sitting.