Lime Snowball Cookies


Lime Snowball Cookies

Sweet Limes

Bearss Limes

“ At noon on March 15 Tom sat on the bench outside the forge. The sunny morning was over, and gray water bearing clouds sailed over the mountains from the ocean, and their shadows slid under them on the bright earth.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


Bearss Lime Zest

It took me almost three weeks to score these organic, tree-ripened Bearss limes. So yes, I do have more #CitrusLove to share. If you prefer lemons over limes, I know why. The dark green limes at the grocery store are so sour they often are bitter. These limes are picked before they mature. If limes are left on the tree to ripen, they are less bitter, similar to a tangy lemon. Ripe limes often are yellow too. A tree ripened Bearss lime is sweeter, seedless and often pale yellow. A Bearss lime can also be known as a Tahitian lime or Persian lime. If you can find sweet limes, take them home with you. It’s quite the winter surprise.


The first recipe I made with the Bearss limes was this recipe for Lemon Lemon Loaf. All my taste testers thought the cake was made with lemons, not limes. That’s how sweet the Bearss limes are! I had planned on making the Lemon Lemon loaves to share until I found this recipe for Lime Snowball cookies in Bon Appetit Desserts. The name Lime Snowball was too sweet to ignore, especially with a dusting of snowy powdered sugar and lime zest.

Bearss Limes

The Snowballs are a rich, buttery shortbread cookie flavored with lime juice and zest. These cookies are not too sweet, so the lime flavor has room to shine. Since I used sweet Bearss Limes to make the cookies, I added a lot more zest than in the original recipe. When making the cookies with regular, dark green limes, use two tablespoons of zest, instead of the third cup I used. BTW, for lump free powdered sugar store in the freezer.

Lime Snowball Cookies

Lime Snowball Cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts
1-1/2C all-purpose flour
1/2C cornstarch
1/2t fine grain sea salt
1C/8oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2C powdered sugar, plus more for cookie dusting
2T fresh lime juice
1/3C sweet lime zest (or 2T regular lime zest) plus more for cookie dusting
  1. Into a medium sized bowl, sift or shake through a sieve the flour, cornstarch and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until the butter is pale yellow and very creamy, five minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl as needed. Add the lime juice and zest, mix to combine and evenly disperse the zest throughout the dough. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Stop to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl as needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill just until firm, 45 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring spoon to measure uniform sized cookies of a tablespoon each. Use your hands to the roll dough into balls. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 15-17 minutes. The cookies are done when the bottom edges are uniformly golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately dust the cookies generously with powdered sugar. Zest lime directly on top of the powdered sugar topped cookies. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet.

Lime Snowball Cookies

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28 Responses to Lime Snowball Cookies

  1. Yi says:

    Those cookies are lovely. I am a big fan of the zesty lime flavor and key lime pie has been one of my favorite desserts. These cookies are right up to my ally. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I love snowball cookies and these are just adorable. I’m sure they are perfectly kissed with tangy lime, a real delight to the tastebuds!

  3. Mary says:

    What a great little cookie Deb! I have fallen in love with limes of late and look for as many ways as possible to use their juice and zest. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy limes than in a buttery little cookie.

  4. cheri says:

    Hi Deb, what a lovely little cookie you have created, my grandmother used to make one somewhat similar to this, love that you used limes here. I bet these are delicious!

  5. They look small yet so scrumptious. Could you please send me some? 😉

  6. These are so cute! Snowballs are one of my favorite cookies. With the lime they have to be incredible!

  7. Deb, I loved your lime loaf you shared with me. It was delicious. You are a great baker and I am sure these lime cookies melt in your mouth with the lingering flavor of those beautiful limes. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Cathy says:

    These look mouth-wateringly good Deb! 🙂 I do envy you your fresh citrus fruits!

  9. These look divine, Deb! My Mom used to make something similar from the look of the recipe and we loved them. Persian limes are the norm here in the UK and they do taste really so much nicer, and as you say have a lovely sweetness. Pinned, Flipped and Yummed 🙂

  10. mjskit says:

    These would would dangerous cookies to have in a house with 2 cookie monsters who both LOVE anything lime. Fabulous recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! Never heard of a Bearss Lime, but I’m going to look for some.

  11. Love any and all citrus, but lemons and limes are my favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Bearss lime — which is odd, because for about a decade we lived in a northern Tampa suburb, a couple of miles from “Bearss Road.” Named after the lime, and because there used to be a lot of orchards in the area before they decided to plant suburbs there. Anyway, these cookies look wonderful! Just my thing — thanks.

  12. Pam says:

    Perfect, perfect little cookie! I love lime so these snowballs are a must try! Like the Steinbeck quote and your blog name too!

  13. While I don’t have the availability of fresh picked limes, I know I will enjoy these cookies nonetheless. 🙂

  14. Great you used lime! So refreshing and delicious, Deb!

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