This may be the best wedding cookies recipe ever, friends. Lime ginger wedding cookies, your time has come. Finally.
The pairing of tart key lime juice and zest with some heat from Thai ginger salt makes for a just-sweet-enough, hard to stop eating snowball cookie you will want to make again and again.
Festive enough for the holidays but tasty enough you will want to make them all year long!
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When Ginger Met Key Lime
Growing up, ginger was one of those flavors that I only knew in a very middle class American way.
Sweet and sour sauce.
It has taken me awhile to start exploring more of what ginger has to offer, but it’s still not a spice that I grab without thinking about it.
I have to plan for ginger. Here’s the story of how the plan came together.
I bought some Thai ginger sea salt and it had been sitting around looking for a job.
When Cheryl from Pook’s Pantry gifted me with a bag o’ key limes, Inspiration struck, and these ginger lime wedding cookies were born.
Here was my thought process:
- I like wedding cookies.
- I could totally shove some ginger salt into some wedding cookies
- That seems a little boring. What would be lovely with the ginger?
- Well, hello there, key limes!
Wedding Cookies Are Similar To Shortbread
Wedding cookies are not hard to make. Think of them as shaped balls of nut-enriched shortbread.
Like shortbread cookies, wedding cookies don’t contain any eggs or additional liquid. This allows the fat from both the butter and the nuts to thoroughly coat the flour and prevent gluten from forming.
This fat coating is what makes the texture of shortbread and wedding cookies so crumbly and magical.
If you check out my brown butter pecan shortbread, you can see that the ginger wedding cookies share the same bones as those guys.
Ingredients for The Best Wedding Cookies (Seriously. They Are!)
The ingredient list for these cookies is relatively short, and you may own most of the ingredients this very second.
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
- ginger sea salt
- ground ginger
- key lime juice (fresh or bottled–I like Nellie and Joe’s)
- key lime zest (or zest from Persian limes)
- toasted pecans
- all purpose flour (or a combination of all-purpose and cake flour
Add a delicious kick of savory gingery goodness to everything. Fantastic in these cookies, which I developed specifically to use ginger salt, but also great in soups and as part of a rub for poultry. I'm sure you'll find a bunch more uses for it!
How to Make These Cookies
The ingredients come together really quickly.
Don’t forget to toast your pecans before chopping them very finely. It will add depth of flavor.
- Toast the pecans and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. You can also do this by hand with a good chef knife.
PRO TIP: Allow nuts to cool completely before pulsing them in the food processor so you don’t end up with nut butter.
- Cream together butter, powdered sugar, Thai ginger sea salt, ginger, lime zest, and juice until creamy.
- Blend in the finely chopped nuts.
- Mix the flour in on low speed just until combined.
- Shape into balls and bake.
- Roll in spiced powdered sugar once (or twice for additional sweetness)
Can You Make These As Slice and Bake Cookies?
Yes, you can.
Rather than shaping the dough into balls, shape the entire mass into a log the diameter of the cookies you want to make. Roll up in waxed paper or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm.
Slice the log into 1/3″ slices and bake before rolling in the powdered sugar.
What Do These Wedding Cookies Taste Like?
These cookies, oh my goodness. You guys, I am so pleased with how these came out!
Buttery, delicate, crumbly-crunchy, sharp with key lime, warm with ginger, well-seasoned with the ginger salt. Lightly sweet. Lightly savory.
Makes sense, too. Pecan, lime and ginger are flavors equally at home in both savory and sweet dishes.
And these little cookies, as unassuming-looking as they are, really do strike the perfect balance between sweet and savory.
Wedding Cookie Variations
You can play up the sweetness to whatever extent you like by adding more or less powdered sugar coating or even leaving it off entirely.
Switch out the pecans for walnuts or macadamia nuts. I think macadamias would be especially lovely with the ginger-lime flavor profile.
You can also switch up the citrus, using orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, tangerine, etc.
If you’re not a ginger fan, you can use a different spice.
Keep the proportions the same and consider these flavor options:
- Orange Cinnamon (with pecan)
- Lemon Thyme (use the crushed/powdered thyme rather than the dried leaves)
- Mocha (use 1 oz of cocoa powder in place of 1 oz of flour and add some espresso powder rather than ginger)
- Pistachio Grapefruit (use grapefruit zest and juice and sub pistachios for the pecans)
Other Holiday Cookie Recipes
If you’re planning on making cookies plates for giving during the holiday season, you’ll want to make more than just the lime wedding cookies, although anyone would be happy to get only the best wedding cookies ever!
My favorite Christmas cookies are Angel Slices. A sable-type crust baked with gooey coconut pecan filling and iced with a thin, crackly glaze of lemon icing.
Brownie brittle is also a fun cookie for gifting. My version is peppermint brownie brittle and it is Very Very Good–crispy and munchable.
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
I really hope you think these are the best wedding cookies ever, you guys! And that you make some.
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For the Cookie Dough
- 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon Thai Ginger Sea Salt, (or other fine sea salt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger, (more or less, to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon key lime juice, (fresh or bottled, such as Nellie and Joe's)
- zest of 3 key limes or one Persian lime
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
- 10 oz all purpose flour, (see note)
For the Powdered Sugar Coating
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon Thai ginger sea salt, , or to taste (or other fine sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger, , or to taste
- Cream the butter, sugar, salt, ginger, zest and juice until very creamy and smooth.
- Beat in the pecan meal on low speed.
- Beat in the flour on low speed until everything is evenly combined.
For Traditional Wedding Cookie shapes
- Portion cookies at about 1 1/2 Tablespoons each. Roll into balls and place on a baking stone or cookie sheet covered with parchment or Silpat. These cookies barely spread, so you only need to leave about 1 1/2" between them.
- Bake at 325F for about 20-25 minutes, until fairly firm and barely browned.
- Let cookies cool on the racks for about 5 minutes and then roll gently but thoroughly in the powdered sugar coating. Double dip them for added sweetness.
For Slice and Bake
- Roll dough into a log of whatever diameter you want. Chill until firm.
- Slice into about 1/3" slices and place on a baking stone or lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2" between the cookies.
- Bake at 325F for about 15-18 minutes until fairly firm and barely browned.
- Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then toss gently but thoroughly in the powdered sugar coating. Double dip for extra sweetness.
- You can also roll the dough in the sugar before baking.
For the Powdered Sugar Coating
- Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly. Taste and add more ginger and/or more salt if you need to. It shouldn't taste salty, but there should be a noticeable salt bite or two in the midst of the sweet. The ginger should make your tummy warm. But it should not make you sweat.
Use 10 oz all purpose flour for a crumbly-yet-sturdy cookie. Use 5 oz each of cake flour and all purpose for a more delicate-crumbly cookie. Your choice.
Consider flavor variations by switching up the nuts you use and the spices and zests you choose. This is a great base cookie recipe, so make it your own.
The oven temperature should be 325F. Any hotter, and the cookies might not bake all the way through before the outside starts to burn, so check your oven temperature.
Note that cookies should not brown much at all except for a little on the bottoms. You'll know the cookies are done when they are firm. Cookies will get crunchier as they cool.
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Nutrition InformationYield 36 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 98Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 7mgSodium 53mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 1g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
And I hope you guys like these wedding cookies, too.
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