Key Lime Pie is now in cookie form! These cute little thumbprint cookies are made with a buttery graham-cracker crumb-based cookie and filled with a tart key lime pie filling. Key Lime Pie Cookies are much easier than making a whole pie, but just as tasty!
After spending the past two days buried in strawberry recipe experimentation (and perhaps permanently staining my fingertips pink!), it’s refreshing to get away from berries for a minute and embrace a different summertime fruit: the Key Lime*.
I already have a very similar recipe on the blog (not to mention a classic thumbprint cookie recipe) and I desperately wanted to re-do the photos, but as I started to bake, I thought it might be fun to make the cookie-base mimic a key lime pie crust, and to add some graham cracker crumbs to the dough (largely inspired by a comment I received on the original recipe).
The graham cracker crumbs were a perfect addition and did a great job of making these cookies mimic the true taste of a key lime pie. However, since I know that so many people enjoyed the original recipe so much and many people outside the US aren’t even able to get their hands on graham crackers, I decided to leave that recipe intact as-is and to instead just make a whole new post. And so these Key Lime Pie Cookies were born, with all of their graham cracker goodness.
Key Lime Pie Cookies are easy to make, much easier than making a whole pie, and I love how adorably bite-sized they are.
Tips for Making Key Lime Pie Cookies
- Chilling the dough is important, especially during these hot summer days. However, make sure that you roll and indent your cookies before chilling the dough. This way you’ll be a lot less likely to cause cracks in your cookies (as the dough will be more pliable) and it will just be easier in general to shape.
- It’s important to use Key Lime juice and not regular lime juice when making your key lime filling. You can use fresh-squeezed or bottled. However, for the zest you can get away with using either regular lime zest or key lime zest.
- You’ll indent your cookies before cooking them, but if your centers puff up any in the oven I recommend using a rounded teaspoon to re-indent each cookie right after removing them from the oven.
- When making your key lime pie filling, make sure to keep the heat on low to medium-low, or you could end up burning your chocolate.
- Note that the key lime pie filling usually stays a bit tacky even once it’s completely cooled, so these aren’t great for stacking.
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Key Lime Pie Cookies
Key Lime Filling
- 1 cup premium white chocolate chips 170g
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 115ml
- 3 Tablespoons key lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest key limes are expensive, I just used zest from a regular lime
- Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until well-creamed.
- With mixer on low, stir in egg yolk and vanilla extract, pausing to scrape down the sides and mixing until ingredients are well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, cornstarch, and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that all ingredients are well-combined.
- Scoop cookie dough into 2-teaspoon-sized balls and roll until smooth (so that the dough is round and there are no cracks/seams in the cookie dough -- this will help keep your thumbprints from cracking).
- Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon to gently press an indent in the center of the cookie dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
- Chill imprinted dough in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper (if using. An ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet will also work).
- Place chilled cookie dough on sheet spacing at least 1" apart.
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 10-11 minutes and allow to cool completely on pan. Wait for cookies to cool completely before preparing filling.
Key Lime Filling
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine white chocolate chips, condensed milk, and key lime juice.
- Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and ingredients are well-combined. Stir in lime zest and stir until mixture just begins to bubble.
- Reduce heat to low and spoon filling into thumbprints of cookies (I use a 1-tsp sized cookie scoop, it makes the process much easier and less messy!).
- Allow to cool completely before serving (filling may still be a little tacky to touch, even when cooled completely. This is normal).
*OK, if you want to get technical I know key limes can be considered a winter fruit because of when their trees yield fruit, but I almost exclusively enjoy the refreshing, tart goodness of key limes in the summertime!