Who doesn’t love melt-in-your-mouth almond shortbread cookies, but even more so with a little bite of fresh key lime. Sweet and tart, creamy and silky - these surprising cookies are filled with magic! Perfect for garden teas or springtime cookie celebrations! Tender, buttery shortbread with a touch of fresh key lime curd...sweet and simple with a touch of almond and vanilla make these the perfect little cookie.
This tender shortbread is the best ever - perfect all by itself, plain and simple. But add a spoonful of Fresh Key Lime Curd and drizzle with a fresh key lime glaze, and you're talking cookie nirvana!
WHAT EXACTLY IS KEY LIME CURD?
Oh how we love Fresh Key Lime Curd and its sister, Fresh Lemon Curd! If you love lemon meringue pie, you will love this sweet and tart creamy pudding! You can buy expensive jars of this in the gourmet section of your local market, but it is so dang easy to make a batch of this fresh at home!
Fresh Key Lime Curd is super rich, creamy and buttery. It is slightly thicker and packs a more intense lime-infused sweet and tart "punch" than key lime pie filling or the filling in Fresh Key Lime Bars. If you can't get your hands on fresh key limes to make this, you also substitute regular fresh limes. I hope you'll try one of my homemade recipes this summer. It's all good!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 2 Tbsp (264g) all-purpose flour (sifted & spooned – not scooped!)
1 cup Fresh Key Lime Curd
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Fresh Lime Zest (optional garnish)
HOW I MAKE THESE:
1. Beat the butter on high speed with a handheld or stand mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and add half of the flour; turn the mixer on low and slowly beat just until combined. Add remaining flour and again mix slowly just until a very soft dough is formed. Press the dough down into bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill overnight.
2. The next day, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator an hour before you intend to start baking.
3. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (parchment paper seems to work better than silicone mats for these shortbread cookies).
4. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, making sure they're nice and smooth. Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it, but you can pinch the dough back together gently. Fill each impression with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh Key Lime Curd. Place prepared cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes – this step is MANDATORY!
5. Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake!
6. Remove from oven and immediately spoon an additional ½ teaspoon of Fresh Key Lime Curd into each cookie, smoothing it around to fill the indentation evenly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
7. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, fresh lime juice, vanilla and corn syrup until smooth. Add more lime juice to thin out or add more powdered sugar to thicken to your desired consistency. Carefully drizzle over cooled cookies and allow glaze to set (you can refrigerate to speed this process up). You can sprinkle drizzled glaze with fresh lime zest for a pop of color and flavor!
8. Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Baked cookies can be frozen up to 30 days – thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
YIELD: Makes 36 cookies
Originally posted June 2013, revised and reposted July 2019.
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