The Tenth Day of Christmas: Key Lime Thumbprints

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I was at the mall last weekend and I saw lines of little kids waiting to get their picture taken with Santa Claus. It reminded me of the giddy feeling you get as a little kid when you’re face to face with what you believe the be the man himself—Old Saint Nick. It’s funny when you watch the demeanor of the little kids. Some are as happy can be, and are clearly running down a serious list of presents with Santa in the short time they have. Then there are others that look absolutely petrified, as if sitting in Santa’s lap is the absolute last place they want to be in the world.

Do you have a memory of sitting in Santa’s lap? I went in search of some pictures of a young Heather with Santa came up with two that I thought were pretty great.


For the tenth day of Christmas I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart for Key Lime thumbprint cookies. These tiny morsels are a refreshing break from traditional thumbprint cookies which are usually filled with jam or chocolate. The center packs a powerful punch of lime flavor with both fresh lime juice and zest as ingredients. The shortbread dough and lime filling make for a unique and satisfying combination.

Day Ten: Key Lime Thumbprints 
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Ingredients for Dough
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions
For the dough, cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Add yolks and vanilla, and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour and salt until combined. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. For the filling, whisk granulated sugar, flour, and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in lime zest and juice and salt.

Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake for 10 minutes. Press centers if indentations lose definition. Spoon filling into centers. Bake until cookies are light brown around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If it seems you’re always short on time around the holidays, consider making your cookie dough in advance. Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight freezer bag wrapped in foil. That way you can make your cookie dough on a relaxing summer day in June and tuck it away for the holidays. Just remember to let your dough stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

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