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St. Paddy's Pistachio Candy

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Key Lime Cookie Christmas Tree

Key Lime Cookie Tree

Ingredients and Supplies
·                        1 cup butter (no substitutes)
·                        1/2 cup sugar
·                        1/4 cup Nellie and Joes’ key lime juice
·                        1 teaspoon vanilla
·                        2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·                        ¼  cup confectioner’s sugar
·                       2 tablespoon meringue powder
·                        1/4 cup warm water  + 2 tablespoons key lime juice
·                        3 cups sifted powdered sugar
·                        1 teaspoon vanilla
·                        1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
·                        1 - 2 colors assorted paste food coloring- mint green, teal, aqua

                         Rolling Pin
·                        Parchment Paper
·                        2” and 1” leaf cookie cutters
·                        Thin bamboo skewers, cut to 3” lengths
·                        Tooth picks
·                        Piping bags
·                        #2 or #3 piping tip
·                        Glue
·                        6 inch Styrofoam cone 
                         6-8” plastic plate or covered cardboard cake circle
·                        Small needlenose craft pliers
·                        Confectioner’s Sugar for decorating
                         Silver and/or Gold dragees (optional)
·                        White Sparkle gel
                          Star shaped lollipop

                               1. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Beat key lime juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 1 hour or overnight until easy to handle.
                              2. Sprinkle Parchment paper with confectioner’s sugar. Roll each portion of dough on a lightly dusted surface until 1/4-inch thick. Cut out using floured light leaf-shape cookie cutters. Lift away unused cookie dough, wrapping in plastic wrap and place back in refrigerator to cool.  Insert bamboo skewer into larger leaf cookies, and toothpick into center of small leaf cookies. 
 (If skewer is exposed, pinch dough up arount the skewer to cover, then place that side down on the parchment paper. Place the parchment with cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.

                              3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown around edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Allow to cool completely before icing the leaves.

                             4. For icing: combine meringue powder, warm water, key lime juice, powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until smooth and of spreading consistency. Divide into portions and color with aqua, teal, and mint green  paste food coloring. Use at once to frost cookies.

                             5. Fill piping bag with icings and pipe a Line around the edge of each cookie.

When finished, thin remaining icing with water until proper consistency for flooding cookies

 Icing is ready to fill  in outlines when a small amount dropped  
from a spoon into the mixture disappears on the count of ten..

  Place on racks until set.
                               6. Glue Styrofoam cone onto a plastic  plate or covered cake circle. ( I inverted a clear plastic plate purchased from the dollar store.) Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar onto the cone.

                              7.  Starting at the bottom, carefully push the larger cookies into the Styrofoam cone using a pair of small needlenose craft pliers on skewers and toothpickes. Do not push on cookies as they will break. 

Continue adding cookies , using large cookies at bottom, then adding smaller cookies toward the top of cone. Use leftover small leaf cookies to fill in gaps on lower part of cone.

                              8. To decorate the tree, run a small line of sparkle gel around the tips of cookies to resemble icicles.  Place dragees on the tips of leaves. The sparkle gel will hold the dragees in place. Sprinkle the tree with confectioners sugar to resemble snow. Cut stem of lollipop to 2” and place the star lollipop on top of the tree by inserting stem into upper tip of cone.

 Tutorial and photography by Jacque Benson
All rights reserved 2011

Recipe inspired and adapted from


  1. So creative! And the key lime flavor sounds amazing! I have to try this soon! Am bookmarking this recipe..!

  2. Hi Faith!!! Thank you so much! It is fun to put together! Be sure and posts pics when you make one!!


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