These Key Lime Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies started out as regular Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies, but I just couldn’t resist adding a lime touch. When you think of Key West, your first taste is always Key Lime. Then your tastebuds will take you back to a frozen Key Lime Pie dipped in chocolate. Who can resist? Well, that’s what happened when I made these cookies.
Keep in mind the Key Lime Snowball Cookies are our household’s favorite. They don’t stick around too long. So, when I put these in the refrigerator, the first squeal was “yeah, more key lime cookies!!”. I had to break the disappointing news that these were just simple chocolate chip snowball cookies, but there was a new batch coming with key lime. Yep, those didn’t last long either. The mixture of chocolate and key lime is simply irresistible.
The difference between this recipe and the other Key Lime Snowball cookie recipe is this one does not use cornstarch, but they taste similar. Remember those Russian Tea Cakes we used to make long, long ago? These are those just updated. The nice thing is there are only a few ingredients and they go up very quickly.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. I have a very small wall oven, so I have to use the small cookie sheets. I end up doing two batches. If you are lucky enough to have a real oven (not a easy bake oven as my husband calls it) then this goes up in one batch.
Here is where you have to decide if the entire batch will be just chocolate chip (and no lime) or half of the batch will have lime. I usually opt for half the batch regular and half the batch with lime. That way you can have the best of both worlds. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla with a mixer until fluffy. (If you are making the entire batch lime, then go ahead and all of the lime juice here).
Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips (and if making the full batch lime add the lime zest here). It may take a little bit for the dough to come together, but it will. It is a stiff dough and if it turns out sticky, pop it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour, to stiffen up. Humidity and heat will play a big part on how this dough comes together.
Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon. I use a smaller cookie scoop. Place the dough on the cookie sheets. When I have filled two cookie sheets, I will still have dough left over. (Remember I use the smaller cookie sheets) This is where I make the second batch of cookies with lime. I add the lime juice and zest at this step for the next round of cookies.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes until the bottoms are slightly brown. I need to rotate my pans halfway through the time so they cook evenly – just know your oven and watch them. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. You want them cool enough to handle, but not so hot you burn yourself.
Drop the cookies into a bag of powdered sugar. I put about 1/2 cup powdered sugar into the bag at a time. You can always add more. I drop about 5 or 6 at a time and gently shake/roll them in the bag. Then I place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling. The heat of the cookies will melt some of the powdered sugar, so when they are completely cool, then I re-roll/shake them in the bag of powdered sugar for an extra layer of powdered sugar goodness. For the lime cookies, I add lime zest to the powdered sugar to give it an extra pop of color and of course taste.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unless your kitchen is really, really cool, these need to be stored in the refrigerator or else they get mushy on the outside and loose their tea cake texture.
A few recipe notes:
First – use real butter. These are an indulgent cookie (they are rolled in gobs and gobs of powdered sugar) so splurge and use real butter. Margarine and shortening just won’t give these cookies the same taste or texture.
Second – don’t pack your flour or powdered sugar. If you do, then you will end up adding too much and your cookie dough will be very dry and crumbly. When you add the extra moisture by adding the lime juice, you do need to add a little more flour. I start with about 1/8 cup for the full batch. Watch the texture of the dough, add a little bit of flour at a time, that way you don’t add too much.
Third – limes vary in size and amount of juice. Key Limes are very small and if you can find those, then you probably won’t need to add much, or any extra flour. If you use regular limes (these are just fine), and they are really juicy then you might have to add a little more flour.
Fourth – These are really easy cookies to make. Pretty fool proof and darn good. So just jump in and try a batch, or two!
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour (if you are adding lime juice then increase flour by about 1/8 cup – see recipe notes)
Juice of 1/2 lime (for a half batch of lime) or the juice of one lime for a full batch
Zest of one lime (half goes into the dough and the other reserve for the powdered sugar for rolling)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Additional powdered sugar for rolling