Yield: approximately 3 dozen
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Green gel food coloring
Garnish: gel icing, sugar stars, and confectioners’ sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar to butter mixture. Beat at low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, lime zest, and lime juice, beating to combine.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed to incorporate. Increase speed to medium, and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add green gel food coloring, blending until cookie dough reaches desired shade of green.
3. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a Christmas-tree-shaped cookie cutter, cut cookies, rerolling dough only once if needed. Place on prepared baking sheets. Using the tip of a paring knife, make indentations in each cookie to resemble branches.
6. Bake until edges are lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely.
7. Place sugar star on top, securing with icing. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if desired.