Friday, September 7, 2012

Orange Meltaways in the Friday Cookie Jar

Since I finished my last Friday 50 Women Game-Changers post a few weeks ago, I’ve missed having a theme to cook and blog about for the end of the week. So I went in search of a new topic. I wanted it to either inspire readers to spend time in the kitchen, preferable with family and friends, or to create a dish to share with said family and friends.

Cookies! These yummy little treats are often the first recipe we make as kids and are a great way to spend family time mixing, rolling, and baking. They are also perfect for sharing. Seriously, who doesn’t feel instantly cheerful when given a bag of homemade sweet morsels? I know the folks who live on the seventh floor of our apartment building are very happy and grateful whenever I leave a plate of my latest creation by the elevator for them to enjoy. And it makes me smile every time I go to retrieve my empty plate, knowing I was able to share a little fun treat with my neighbors.

So each week I will post a recipe for the Friday Cookie Jar. (Okay, in all honesty, I don’t own a cookie jar. My cookies go into a plastic container. But I’ve always wanted to have an actual cookie jar, so now I have an excuse to go find one!)

This week features Orange Meltaways. I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Martha Stewart website. She used limes, but since I was out of them, I used oranges. The flavor is a little like a Creamsicle thanks to the addition of vanilla with the orange. Oh, and yes, these tiny, delicate sweets do melt-a-way in your mouth.

Orange Meltaways
Adapted from a recipe featured in Martha Stewart Living, December/January, 1998-1999.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

(Don’t preheat the oven yet! The dough needs at least an hour in the refrigerator before baking.)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the butter and 1/3 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the zest, juice and vanilla, and mix to combine. Turn the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into logs 1 1/4-inch in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the parchment paper from the cookie dough logs and slice each log into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place the rounds approximately 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet into the oven and back until the cookies are slightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.

Place the cookies on a wire rack and cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour the rest of the confectioners’ sugar into a zippered bag. Place the still-warm cookies into the bag, a few at a time, and shake gently to coat in the sugar. Remove the cookies from the bag and place them back on the wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. (Trust me, they won’t last that long!)


  1. I LOVE that you tell us not to preheat the oven yet! I wish all recipes would do that when there's a resting time for the food.

    You had me as soon as you said it was a bit like a dreamsicle. That sounds delicious.

  2. Mmmm...they sound phenomenal! Looking forward to giving this recipe a try!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  3. I would happily return your plate if you left these on my doorstep. I think orange sounds better than the lime, I bet a splash of Grand Marnier wouldn't hurt either.

  4. Mom Chef, I got the idea from Joanne Fluke, a cozy mystery series author who includes recipes in her books. She warns about not preheating first and I thought it was a great tip!
    Thanks, Jenn...let me know when you do try it out. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    Gina, Grand Marnier sounds lovely!