March 21, 2017

Lilikoi-Lime Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

#CreativeCookieExchange is baking Cookies for Tea this month. As a big tea drinker and a cookie lover, this theme is perfect for me. The only trouble I had was narrowing it down to just one cookie. There are so many great cookie recipes out there waiting to be baked.

For me, shortbread is the ultimate afternoon tea cookie.  It is both delicate and delicious, and can be a stand-alone cookie or the base of a completely different cookie. It is easy to make and even easier to eat. I love thumbprint cookies because you can fill them with any type of jam, curd, preserves, chocolate, etc that you want.

The filling in these cookies may look like your standard lemon curd, but it is actually lilikoi curd, and the good news is that it is easy to make. Lilikoi (also known as passionfruit) is a small, round fruit that grows on a vine in tropical areas.  The exterior is quite tough, and it has a sweet/tart pulpy yellow center with lots of black seeds. I happen to like the seeds, but because it was going to be the filling for these cookies, I decided to leave the seeds out this time. The tartness of the curd and lime zest against the buttery sweetness of the cookie is just sublime. Note that this recipe for the curd makes way more than you will need to fill the cookies, so just keep it refrigerated and it is great on toast, you could drizzle it on pancakes, or even use it as a topping for your oatmeal.

The dough for these shortbread cookies has to be placed in the refrigerator for at least one hour so plan accordingly.  I didn't find that the cookies spread very much as they baked, so I kept them on the smaller side.  To make the indentations I started out using the end of a wooden spoon, but then I changed to using my little finger so that I did not squish the dough too much. If it does crack just squeeze it back together to repair it.  Instead of using a spoon to fill the hole with curd I placed the curd in a piping bag - without a nozzle attached - and simply piped it in and this was so much easier. The only change I would make next time would be to make the holes a little wider so that I could add a little more curd to the cookies. Also, I'll leave it up to you as to whether you want to drizzle them with icing or leave them plain - both ways are good.

If you would like to know more about #CreativeCookieExchange and see what the other bakers made for the Mardi Gras! theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Laura from The Spiced Life, who is our host & fearless leader.

Lilikoi-Lime Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Printer Friendly Recipe

Cookies ~
  • 320g 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 40g ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 225g 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130g ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • juice of ½ fresh lime
  • zest of 1 small lime
  • dash of salt
  • 130g Lilikoi Curd
Lilikoi Curd
  • 6 large eggs
  • 125g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 190ml passion fruit pulp, strained 
Gaze ~
  • 240g powdered sugar
  • juice of two fresh limes

Cookies ~
  1. Place flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt, lime zest and the juice of ½ a lime in a large mixing bowl, beat on medium speed until the mixture is creamy.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula and blend again.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, scraping the side of the bowl and then mixing for another 30 seconds.
  5. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 180℃. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape the dough into 2.5cm balls and place 5cm apart on the prepared pan.
  8. Make an indention in the center of each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon - pushing straight down and trying not to flatten the dough ball (if the edges crack slightly push the dough back together to make a smooth ball).
  9. Fill each ball with a heaping ¼ teaspoon of lilikoi curd.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to rest on the pan for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack.
  12. Cool completely before icing.

Lilikoi Curd ~
  1. Heat the juice, butter and sugar in a heavy based pot until the sugar has dissolved and it reaches boiling point. 
  2. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly for about 4 minutes. 
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add a small amount of the hot juice mixture to temper the eggs (and prevent curdling), making sure you continue to whisk.
  4. Add this mixture back into the pot.
  5. Place the pot back on the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. 
  6. Cool the mixture in the pot which allows it to thicken a little more, then transfer to a sterilized jar(s) and store in the refrigerator. 
Glaze ~
  1. Combine the powdered sugar and the lime juice and whisk until smooth.
  2. Thicken or thin as desired and drizzle or pipe over cooled cookies.
  3. Allow the icing to fully set then refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe adapted from Saving Room for Dessert
For US Measurements please click here

Cookies in the afternoon at “teatime” are a long held tradition, whether served with tea, coffee or even milk for an after school snack. No matter what you serve with your cookies, we’ve got a great list for you to choose from! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made ~


  1. What a delicious sounding cookie! I love lime flavored cookies and your passionfruit curd sounds amazing. I've got these on my list to try next time I bake.

  2. I like the sound of passionfruit curd and love the icing on top-- these cookies are ready to bloom!

  3. Felice these cookies are adorable, and the filling sounds amazing. Shortbread is one of my very favorite cookies, and you dressed these up incredibly.

  4. Oh my. Two of my favorite things in the whole world, shortbread and passion fruit. These are going right to the head of the line on my "Bake it NOW" list.

  5. These sound heavenly, and perfect to brighten up winter

  6. These look lovely. Does the recipe make 24 cookies?

    1. It depends on the size you make the balls of dough. I started out making them too big, and then made slightly smaller ones, and I think I ended up with about 28-30 cookies.


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