Soft and pillowy, these incredibly easy to make sugar cookies are flavored with fresh squeezed lime juice and grated lime zest then topped with a coconut flavored cream cheese frosting and even more sweet coconut for a sweetened citrus flavor in every bite.
I usually save the phrase “little pillows of heaven” for when I’m bellied up to the bar of my favorite Italian restaurant gushing over my bowl of Gnocchi alla Norma, that when cooked just right, is indeed heaven sent. But today, I’m extending my catchphrase to these soft and easy-to-make sugar cookies because they totally deserve it.
The recipe isn’t mine, but it’s one I’m more than happy to share.
I recently asked you lovely readers to submit your favorite Christmas cookie so I could select one to share on today’s Facebook Live “All Things Cookies!” cooking show (at 11 am MST on Facebook/foodiecrush and on replay all day AND we’re giving away a KitchenAid stand mixer!) and I’m pleased as lime and coconut punch to say this.is.it., your new favorite, any-day-is-a-holiday cookie.
While these cookies are perfectly poised for holiday toasting, they’re also totally appropriate for a wedding/bridal/baby shower, Easter celebration, and especially Cinco de Mayo. Pass the tequila and olé!
This cookie recipe was submitted by Sara G who said it’s her favorite for any day (she loves the summery flavors all year long) and is one of her most favorite to dress up for Christmas. While pregnant, Sara had a craving for coconut, lime,and everything tropical flavored.
To cure Sara’s craving, her sister made these cookies for her, and BOOM! The sweet cure had been found. “She’s a pretty awesome sister,” Sara says. I’d have to totally agree.
How to Make Soft Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies
This dough is anything but complicated, with basic ingredients, just a few steps for mixing, and a simple cream cheese and butter frosting. The hardest part of these cookies is deciding how to decorate them.
The fun thing about these cookies is you can dress them up like Nicole Kidman or Rhi Rhi, or leave ’em plain like just about any old Jane.
I went more Kate Blanchett style and gave them a classic swirl with white frosting, a sprinkling of coconut flakes, and sanding sugar for a super crystallized glimmer to light up any Christmas cookie party. And like every stunning outfit, just a hint of color to accessorize. Lime green, natch.
Sara took these cookies to her holiday cookie exchange festived up with a holiday red frosting topped with a sliver of lime. You could always use different colors of sprinkles, and add even more grated lime zest to the top for color, and you can leave the coconut on or off depending on your mood or even bake it inside the cookie dough and leave the frosting off entirely.
But really, why would you?
To shape the cookies, I used a #24 cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) then sprinkled the tops of each ball with a little of the sugar and salt mixture, and used the bottom of a glass jar to press them into flattened circles. Schmear a little cookie dough on the bottom of the glass, just enough to dirty it a bit so the sugar mixture will stick to the glass.
Press the cookies with even pressure to create a well-rounded circle with shaggy edges. The rustic look proves these homemade babies are made with heart.
When frosting the cookies, I like to leave a bit of cookie showing instead of running the frosting all the way to the edge. Especially with this lighter shade of cookie it adds dimension and texture instead of a slick slather of frosting.
For the lime toppers, slice the limes super thin into slivers as thin as you can get them without tearing. Then, cut into half moons or quarters. Slicing them thin makes them easy to chew along with the cookie for an extra burst of citrus that after taste-testing I started saving for the last bite. Why? Because like this cookie recipe, it’s the best.
Thank you for your recipe Sara!
7 More Cookies to Make for Christmas
- Chocolate Dipped Almond Cookies and Santa’s Milk Drive
- Chai Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate and Sea Salt
- Chocolate and Orange Sandwich Cookies
- Coconut Snowball Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
- Snickerdoodles with White Chocolate Chips
- Peppermint Truffles Recipe
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for pressing cookie dough balls
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2½ limes plus 1 lime for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Frosting
- ¼ cup butter
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 teaspoons coconut extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- Lime slivers and coarse sugar crystals for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the ⅔ cup granulated sugar, the powdered sugar and butter until fluffy and light. Add the vegetable oil, lime juice and zest and the egg and cream until smooth.
- In a smaller bowl, toss together the flour with with baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and then add the other half and mix until dough comes together and is mixed through.
- Roll dough into balls the size of golf balls (I use a #24 cookie scoop) and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat or sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to a shallow bowl. Smudge a bit of the cookie dough on the bottom of a small glass jar before dipping in the sugar so the dough doesn't stick to the jar. Press the dough balls with the jar dipped in sugar to ½ cm thick and the edges crack just a bit.
- Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies won't brown and may look look undercooked, but they will be done.
- Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- While the cookies are baking, prepare the frosting by combining the ingredients in a bowl and mixing until smooth.
- Once cookies are cool, frost the cookies and garnish with a few pinches of coconut flakes and sugar crystals and top with a sliver of lime.
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