When life gives you limes…

A guest from the West Coast recently stayed with us and brought us some lovely limes from her very own lime tree.  I know, I know… many of you are thinking… margaritas! But I have never made margaritas at home, and frankly, I like mine served with fresh chips and salsa on the side! So instead, I decided I’d try some cookies I could share with guests.After a quick Google search, I discovered that Cook’s Illustrated magazine had published a Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookie recipe in 2010.  I like chewy cookies, so this sounded like an excellent one for me to try!  Although I couldn’t access the original recipe, I found it mentioned on a few blogs, including Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, which is the version of the recipe I worked with.

If you aren’t familiar with Cook’s Illustrated, they take a very scientific approach to their recipes, trying all sorts of ingredients and techniques until they develop a recipe that they feel is the best example of whatever it is they are trying to achieve.  This recipe is pretty true to that style.  In addition to the butter and egg you would find in a traditional sugar cookie recipe, this recipe also has cream cheese, vegetable oil, and milk.  I suspect that these extra ingredients are there to enhance the chewiness of the cookie (but without the original recipe, I can only guess).  And as for technique, the butter is melted and added warm to the sugar and cream cheese… another variation from a traditional sugar cookie recipe.

Here are some pictures from the cookie-making process…

Sugar, lime zest and cream cheese

Melted butter added

I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but the warm butter, cream cheese and sugar mixture all came together nicely

Wet and dry ingredients mixed together making a very soft, shiny dough

Cookies scooped, flattened slightly, and sprinkled with just a little coarse sugar

After 12 minutes in the oven, the edges of the cookies were just barely starting to have some color, but the cookies were definitely looking done

Would I make this recipe again? Hmmm… I’m not sure. The recipe had a lot of ingredients, a lot of steps, and made a lot of dirty dishes for a cookie recipe.  On the positive side, since the butter is melted, you don’t need to use a mixer to make these cookies.

Melted butter added

I did make a small change to the recipe when forming the cookies. The original recipe calls for scooping the dough into 2 heaping tablespoon-size portions and rolling the dough in sugar before baking, making 24 very large cookies. Instead, I used my standard #50 cookie scoop (about a tablespoon), sprinkled just the tops of the cookies with a little coarse sugar, and got about 42 cookies.  I am also a stickler for the ingredients in a recipe being listed in the order in which they are used (or should be used), so here is my version…

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Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies

(From Cook’s Illustrated, by way of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen blog, with modifications by Paula.)


1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lime juice
coarse granulated sugar crystals, for sprinkling on cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour the warm melted butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the oil, egg, milk and lime juice and whisk until fully combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix by hand until a soft, somewhat wet, dough is formed. Drop dough by tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Sprinkle each cookie with a little coarse sugar.
5. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 14 minutes or until slightly browned on edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!P.S.  No margaritas this time, but when I was done making the cookies, I had just enough lime juice for a Moscow Mule.  Cheers!