Ginger lime wedding cookies are unassuming little snowball cookies until you take a bite. And then you’re hit with warm ginger and sharp lime all rolled up in a pecan shortbread dough. This is one cookie that will surprise and delight you.

Festive enough for the holidays but tasty enough that you will want to make them all year long!

For a different yet deeply gingery cookie, give my chewy ginger cookies a try.

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Ginger lime wedding cookies coated in powdered sugar on a cooling rack with key limes and a jar of ginger in the background.

At A Glance

✔️Skill Level: Beginner
✔️Skills: Toasting Nuts, Grinding Nuts, The Creaming Method, Powdered Sugar Coating
✔️Type: Shaped Cookies
✔️Number of Ingredients: 8
✔️Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
✔️Cook Time: 25 minutes
✔️Yield: 32-36 cookies

Jump Straight to the Recipe

I printed this one out years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! I break it out every Christmas and love to watch the surprise on people’s faces when they’re hit with the unique and wholly unexpected flavors. They never last long!

Reader and Cookie Maker Jessica

What Is So Great About These Cookies

As Jessica says, these cookies are worth it just to see the look on people’s faces when they take a bite!

The unexpected yet completely delicious combination of ginger and lime make eyes light up and tummies very happy.

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Very similar to shortbread cookies 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.

These cookies also get coated in a spiced and salted sugar mixture. This adds not only sweetness but more ginger flavor.

Jenni Says: Never miss an opportunity to season your cookies. If any recipe calls for rolling cookies in sugar, season it!

If you check out my brown butter pecan shortbread, you can see that these wedding cookies share the same bones as those guys.

How to Make Ginger Lime Wedding Cookies

These cookies are very easy to make. If you already know you want to make these, you can skip straight to the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need. I’ll provide some substitutions where it makes sense to do so.

All the ingredients needed to make ginger lime wedding cookies: butter, powdered sugar, fine salt, ground ginger, key lime juice, key lime zest, toasted, ground pecans, and all-purpose flour.
  • unsalted butter: Very soft. These cookies are heavy on the fat and light on the sugar. This allows for a nice thick coating of seasoned powdered sugar on the outside. The butter, along with the toasted oils in the pecans, carries a lot of flavor
  • powdered sugar: The powdered sugar gives these cookies their melt-in-the-mouth quality. Sift your powdered sugar to make sure there are no lumps.
  • fine sea salt: There is a fair amount of salt in these cookies, both in the dough and in the powdered sugar coating. The salt really brings out the flavor in the nuts, the spices, and the lime. If you only have kosher salt, crush it in a mortar to powder it so it distributes evenly
  • ground ginger: Provides a lovely warmth and sparkle to the cookies. It’s used twice, once in the dough and again in the spiced powdered sugar coating. You can also add some freshly minced ginger to make them more gingery. Use about 2 teaspoons of ginger pulp (use a Microplane) and then cut back on the lime juice by about 1 teaspoon
  • key lime juice: fresh or bottled–if using bottled, use Nellie and Joe’s which has great flavor. If using fresh key limes it’ll take about 3 limes to get 1 Tablespoon of juice
  • key lime zest: zest 3 key limes before juicing them. If you only have Persian limes, you’ll need the zest from 1
  • toasted pecans: I toast my pecans in my toaster oven for about 6-7 minutes. You can also toast them on the stovetop in a dry pan, stirring until they become fragrant. NOTE: Let the toasted pecans cool completely before grinding them or you’ll run the risk of making pecan butter. You can use other nuts here to change up the flavor. Consider macadamias, walnuts, or pistachios
  • all-purpose flour: Provides the bulk for the recipe

Specialty Ingredient Alert

They do make ginger salt, and that’s what I originally used to create this recipe. It’s not necessary, but if you have some or want to try it out, this is a great one.

Add Some Zing!
Asian Ginger Gourmet Sea Salt

Add a delicious kick of savory gingery goodness to everything. Fantastic in my ginger-lime wedding 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!

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Procedure

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’s knife or in a blender.

If using a blender, add the pecans and the flour to it and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Adding the flour will help absorb some of the oils, making it less likely to end up with pecan butter.

A collage of four images showing how to make the dough for wedding cookies. 1)butter, sugar, key lime zest, ginger, and salt in a glass mixing bowl. 2)Flour and pecans ground together in a blender jar. 3)The butter mixture all creamed together. 4)The flour/pecan mixture added to the bowl of creamed butter.
  • Cream together butter, powdered sugar, salt, ginger, lime zest, and juice until creamy.
  • Whisk the nuts and flour together (unless you blended them together earlier), then mix into the butter/sugar mixture.
  • Shape into balls and bake.
  • Roll in spiced powdered sugar twice
A collage of 4 images showing the mixed snowball cookie dough, balls of dough on a sheetpan, the baked cookies, and the cookies in a large plastic bag filled with spiced powdered sugar.

Why Roll Them in Sugar Twice?

Pop the baked cookies into a bowl or large bag with powdered sugar, salt, and ginger after they’ve cooled for about 5 minutes.

The heat of the cookies plus the fat from the butter and nuts melts the first coating of spiced sugar and turns it into almost a “shell” of gingery goodness.

The second roll ensures you’ll have the classic snowball cookie look of, well, powdered sugar on the outsides.

See that image below? You can see the shell layer coated by the fluffier, powdered sugar layer.

A close up shot of a wedding cookie that has a large bite out of it showing the crumbly interior and the shell of spiced sugar on the outside of the cookie.

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.

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)

If you’re planning on making cookie plates for giving during the holiday season, you’ll want to make more than just these wedding cookies, although anyone would be happy to get a plate of these babies!

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.

Round out your plate with some chocolate peppermint bark cookies, some beautiful rugelach, and Swiss Brunsli Cookies for a cookie plate with many different shapes and flavors.

A Note About Measurements

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07/22/2024 07:15 am GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes
Wedding cookies coated in powdered sugar on a cooling rack with a bowl and spatula in the background.

Ginger Lime Wedding Cookies (Snowballs)

Jennifer Field
These snowball cookies pair ginger and lime together with a buttery, tender wedding cookie to make what I truly think are the best wedding cookies ever. Serve these, and watch your diners' faces light up with surprise at the unexpected and truly delicious flavor combination
5 from 3 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Cookies and Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 32 cookies
Calories 98 kcal

Ingredients

For the Cookie Dough

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened 227 grams or 2 sticks
  • 2 oz powdered sugar, sifted 57 grams or 1/2 cup
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt 2.5 grams
  • 2-3 teaspoons powdered ginger (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon key lime juice 14 grams, fresh or bottled, such as Nellie and Joe's
  • zest of 3 key limes or one Persian lime
  • 4 oz pecans 113 grams or 1 cup, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
  • 10 oz all purpose flour (see note)

For the Powdered Sugar Coating

  • 6 ounces powdered sugar 170 grams or 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt (or coarse salt ground to a powder) 5 grams

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the ground pecans and flour together (unless you added both to your blender, in which case, they're already mixed). Set aside.
  • In a bowl using a hand mixer, in a stand mixer, or by hand, cream the butter, sugar, salt, ginger, and zest until very creamy and smooth.
  • Mix in the lime juice.
  • Beat in the flour mixture until just evenly combined.

To Shape and Bake

  • Portion cookies at about 1 Tablespoon each (0.75 oz or 21 grams). 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 (see below). Double dip them to ensure a nice, thick coating, part of which will melt and part of which will stay white and powdery.

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.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

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. Straight from the oven, they’ll still be soft in the centers, but they will firm up as they cool.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 98kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6g
Keyword ginger wedding cookies, lime wedding cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, snowball cookies
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And I hope you guys like these ginger lime wedding cookies, too.

Thank you so much for stopping in, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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34 Comments

    1. They turned out to be really really good. I hope you guys enjoy them, Sandi! I offered these cookies to a reader as part of a giveaway. The winner was local and I met her to give them to her. She and her family really loved them, so they are Reader Approved! ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. You had me at lime. My goodness these cookies sound and look amazing. I’ve got limes in my fridge and they are calling me to make these fabulous cookies!

  2. I had a party last Friday, food was all Thai themed. It was all finger food, so I was limited in what I could make, with forks not in the picture. I made a double recipe of these for dessert. These cookies were amzing. Everyone loves wedding cookies anyway, but the ginger/lime was unexpected, but add to that the “sparkle” you get when you hit a touch of ginger salt, and that put them right over the top! My only complaint was – 14 people and no leftovers!!

    1. I’m so glad you and your guests enjoyed them! Next time, keep half a batch in reserve for yourself. You made them. You deserve them! =) Although I think I’ve made a lot of delicious things for the blog, I rarely revisit them because there are always new flavor combinations and ideas to pursue. I’ve made these cookies w/o any alteration three times. That is saying something! So happy they have another new fan!

  3. 5 stars
    These are in the oven right now. The raw batter tasted amazing, so I can not wait to try them once they have been baked and coated in powdered sugar. butter, sugar and lime. heaven.

  4. Love these, they look delicious! Your pictures have really improved, they look dynamite. I hope you are doing well and your book is coming along. I am rooting for you. xo Amy

    1. Oh, thank you Amy! I’ve been working hard to try and improve, so I’m glad it’s working! The cookies really are wonderful, too! Will keep you posted about the book–I’m just waiting to hear back from the Secret Agent Lady. =)

  5. These sound absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. I ordered the salt yesterday and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’d like to make them to give to guests at my wedding but I’ve got a few questions I hope you can answer. How long can the dough be refrigerated? How far in advance can I make them?

    1. Oh, I hope you love them, Erin! We all certainly did! And the idea that you’ll be giving these to your wedding guests makes me very, very happy!

      I would say that you could keep the dough in the fridge for a good 2 days or so before scooping and shaping. You’ll want to take it out at least an hour or so before baking so it can soften up. We didn’t eat the last 3-4 cookies until probably 8 days after I made them, and they were still as good as new–we were both very pleasantly surprised!

      I hope you and your guests enjoy the cookies, and I wish you and your new husband a very long and happy marriage! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. These were absolutely amazing cookies! Everyone at the wedding–old and young–loved them! It was very humid so the powered sugar was a bit sticky and they didn’t look as lovely as yours. But they still tasted divine! Thanks again for sharing your recipe and expertise!

      2. I am so thrilled that everyone loved the cookies! I wish you and your new husband many, many happy years of marriage–and many batches of tasty cookies! I’m very happy for you, and I’m honored that these cookies had a place on your dessert table. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Well, you know how I feel about posting a gazillion times a week, posting anything just for traffic. I would much rather wait for a great post, informative, entertaining, emotional, with some kind of purpose as well as real food any day!!! And good golly I so want to bake these cookies! That sea salt sounds unbelievable!

    1. The salt is really very good–I can see a ton of savory dishes in my future. And yes, you need to bake these cookies. I will see if I can grab some of that salt for you and send you a Care Package. =)

    1. Oh, that’s great, Meghan! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them, and I feel better about myself knowing that I’m not the only one w/o restraint in the face of these little guys! =)

  7. I always love coming by to see what you’re up to. Truthfully, I do get a little ad if I don’t see a new post, but I understand where you are coming from. No filler here! Just heart. ๐Ÿ™‚ And the cookies look very mouth watering, to say the least!

  8. I LOVE your post. The cookies sound amazing, I can’t wait to try!! I don’t mean this to be a criticism (and maybe it’s my computer) but I had a hard time reading it because of the colors. Thank you for a lovely post!!

    1. A friend told me she had issues w/the colors, too. I don’t know what’s going on, because it renders just fine for me, both on laptop and desktop. I’ll see if I can find out what is up. Thanks for letting me know, and I’m glad you liked the post. The cookies are really good–I do hope you give them a try!

  9. I hear ya, sista. I’ve been battling time constraints and writer’s block, but can’t bring myself to post… just a recipe. How un-fun! Also, why is photography so hard? Sigh. Hey! You know what would make me feel better? SOME OF THESE COOKIES.

    1. Let’s sit on the couch together, munching cookies and watching old episodes of Alias. Maybe we’ll find inspiration then, MV! ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL And I don’t know why photography is so hard. It hurts my head.

  10. Yum! I think these will be made for my next book group. Have a friend who LOVES all things lime (and doesn’t like chocolate). Does Thai Ginger Sea Salt have a ginger flavor to it? I’ve never seen or heard of it, but I have sea salt.

      1. Thanks for the link and info. I thought of candied ginger, that’s a good idea. These sound so good.

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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