Lime Meltaway Coolers: A Beautiful Cookie for Parties from Cleo Coyle

Print Friendly and PDF

Click here for the Free
Recipe PDF.
Lime Meltaway Coolers are a delectable cookie, beautiful for party trays and they freeze wonderfully, too. 

You can use any lime to make this cookie, but Key limes will give you the very best flavor. So what's the difference between Key limes and the larger limes that I see in my grocery store? Keep reading and you'll find out! 

To download this recipe now in a PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here. 

To continue reading this post, scroll down or click here or on the Read More link below. 

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

An earlier version of this recipe post was chosen as a "Top 9" of over 4,000 posts from food bloggers around the world by the editors of Foodbuzz (6/2011).

So what's the difference between
Key limes 
and the "everyday" limes
you usually buy?

Key limes are smaller, rounder, more aromatic, and have a thinner rind than our more common Persian limes. They're picked green and turn yellowish as they ripen.

The name Key lime comes from the fruit’s association with the Florida Keys, but today most Key limes are cultivated in Mexico. Around the world this variety is more commonly known by other names: the West Indian lime, the Omani lime, the Mexican lime, and the Bartender’s lime. 

What about the taste difference? Is there one?

There should be in theory. The larger, Persian limes were created in 1895 by a California man named Bearss who wanted to develop a seedless lime that was milder than the Key lime, but until now I never actually sampled them back-to-back. For this blog post, I decided to give it a try.

My husband, Marc, helped me set up a blind taste test with: (1) freshly-squeezed Persian lime juice; (2) bottled Key lime juice; and (3) freshly-squeezed Key lime juice...

How did I do?

I guessed every one correctly--and not because I'm ready to take on Gordon Ramsay. I simply knew Key limes were supposed to be more acidic than Persians. I expected the Key lime juice to be more tart and intense. And it was.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

The difference was not subtle. The Persian lime juice (1) smelled and tasted almost sweet. I could easily sip the juice without...well, gagging.

On the other hand, the freshly-squeezed Key lime juice (3) was so acidic that I had a hard time sampling it straight. Clearly, the Key limes bring a much bigger punch to any flavoring party.

The bottled Key lime juice (2) was easy to identify, as well, but not for a good reason. Like most bottled juices, it tasted more sour than bright. In the past, for convenience, I have used bottled juices, but after this taste test, I’m going to try harder to use fresh-squeezed whenever possible. When you sample them back-to-back, there really is no comparison.

As for the recipe I'm sharing with you today, I made batches of these cookies using each type of juice tested above, and all three worked just fine. Key limes will give you a more intense lime flavor, but Persian limes work, too. The only advice I can give you is to use fresh-squeezed juice if you can. You’ll get much better flavor that way, and you know I always want you to eat with joy.

~ Cleo

This recipe post was chosen as a
"Top 9" 
out of over 4,000 posts
submitted by food bloggers
from around the world. Thank you to
the editors of 

To download a free PDF 
of this recipe that you can print, 
save, or share, click here.

Click here for the Free
Recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle’s
Lime Meltaway Cookies 
(aka Key Lime Coolers)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Key lime zest* (see my note)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon Key lime juice* (see my note)

For sugar-dusting:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons Key lime zest* (see my note)

*Note: As mentioned above, if you can’t find Key limes, simply substitute the more common (Persian) limes for this recipe. The tart flavor will be less intense, but the cookies will still taste delicious.

Warning: Lime juice may curdle your butter so follow this recipe's directions. Do not add the lime juice to the dough until the end of the mixing process.

Directions: First preheat your oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in the vanilla extract, salt, and lime zest.

Add the flour and baking powder, 
and mix very briefly until a shaggy dough forms.

Now add your lime juice and mix until a smooth dough 
comes together, but do not over-mix or you will develop
the gluten in the flour, and your cookies 
will be tough instead of tender.

Roll the dough into balls
about one inch in diameter.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 
or a silicone sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 

The cookies are done when bottoms are slightly browned. 
Note that cookies are fragile while warm, so handle with care.

To finish, mix ½ cup confectioners’ sugar with 
2 teaspoons lime zest in a shallow bowl. 

While cookies are still warm, gently roll them, 
one at a time, in the bowl of sugar and lime zest.

After all the cookies are coated, 
finish by sprinkling any remaining sugar-lime 
mixture over the cookie tops.

Store cooled cookies in an airtight plastic container. 

These cookies also freeze very well. 
I store my extras in freezer-safe 
re-sealable plastic bags. 

Click here for the Free
Recipe PDF.

May you bake with love and...

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Cleo (Alice) with her husband Marc

Visit Cleo's online coffeehouse here.
And follow her at these links...

Coming February 1, 2022 

Our New Coffeehouse Mystery!

If you'd like to subscribe to Cleo's Newsletter 
and join her "Coffee Club," simply click here.


Don't miss Cleo's new
Haunted Bookshop

"Terrific Series"

--Criminal Element

"Utterly Charming" 

--Mystery Scene

Amazon * B&N 

Indiebound * BAM 

More Buy Links


Cleo's Free UPDATED!
Checklist of Haunted Bookshop 

Mysteries in Order

The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries are
works of amateur sleuth fiction 
featuring an earnest young widow who runs a
quaint Rhode Island bookshop and the ghost
of a hardboiled PI who haunts her.
Click the image above for Cleo's
free Checklist of Books in Order.

New Paperback Edition

Just Released!

5 Best of Year Lists

Cleo Coyle’s Brewed Awakening
is not only a coffee lover's mystery. 
It's a culinary mystery with a tempting 
menu of delicious recipes!

Click here or on the image above
for Cleo Coyle's Free Recipe Guide
to Brewed Awakening

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works
of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the 
18 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.  

Get a free Title Checklist of
Cleo Coyle's Books in Order
Click here 
or on the image below.


Cleo is now working on her 
next book and 

Don't miss her book news, 
bonus recipes, and fun 

prize package giveaways!