Lime Meltaways

CATEGORIES: Cookies, Sara

First of all, can I get a cold drink?  Is anyone else experiencing a heat wave?? I can’t handle the triple digits much longer, it feels like winter again because I refuse to go outside and my kids don’t last more than 5 minutes out there because it’s too hot.  So we stay inside with the nice cold air conditioner (sometimes I even wear a sweatshirt!) and do things like bake cookies.  I’d like to get back to popsicles so I’m hoping it will cool off a bit.

So, normally we spread out the sweets and savories around here, but Kate pulled a fast one on me this week (sneaky, sneaky Kate!) and didn’t post the very savory dish that was on our calendar.  So hopefully you’re still in the mood for amazingly delicious citrus flavored goodies, because I have yet another one today!

This is an older Martha Stewart recipe and I sometimes just call them “shower cookies” because I make them a lot for baby and wedding showers.  They just seem pretty and dainty and they’re a good make-ahead/prep-ahead one.  If you’ve never made a “meltaway” style cookie, they get their name because they sort of just melt in your mouth.  There’s no eggs in the cookies, and there’s an addition of cornstarch and powdered sugar instead of granular.  All of those lend themselves to a buttery cookie with a tender crumb.   They’re easy-peasy.  I’ll show ya.

Start out with butter and sugar: two of my favorite things, that only get better when they’re together 🙂  And since we’re using powdered sugar (a must for meltaways) it’s light, smooth, and creamy.

Into the butter mixture goes vanilla and lime zest.  If you don’t own a microplane yet, pause before this step, open this link in a new tab, click “add to cart” (and make sure your cart isn’t already full of $168 worth of mega bloks like mine was just now, thank-you-very-much-six-year-old) and then come back here and continue.  Perfect example of a recipe that really benefits from a microplane zester.

Add a little flour, salt, and cornstarch and you’ll have a soft dough.  Don’t be worried if you taste the dough at this point (you know you did…) and it doesn’t taste sweet enough.  These little guys will be rolled in sugar and in the end the balance is perfect.

Roll it up into a log (reach back deep into your playdough-playing days) and wrap that sucker up.  This is what I love about cut and slice cookies:  you can make them up to this point and then keep them well wrapped in the fridge or freezer well in advance.  Makes party-throwing (or cookie-cravings) a breeze.

When you’re ready to make them, slice up the dough and place it on a baking sheet.

They bake for a little over 10 minutes, but the appearance doesn’t change too much.  They’re just barely golden around the edges.

When they’re still warm (but not hot) give them a douse of powdered sugar.  Martha tosses them in a ziplock bag, but I find that the tender cookies have a tendency to fall apart that way, so I just put them in a bowl an lightly coat them that way.

They’re cute and sweet, and have just the right amount of bright citrus.  I should add that what reminded me that I had never shared this recipe is note in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living where this cookie was recommended as a good one to send to troops overseas.  We get tons of emails asking the same thing so I wanted to post this as an option!

Word to the wise:  don’t inhale when taking a bite of a powdered-sugar-covered cookie.  Obviously, I am not wise.


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    1. I haven’t with this particular recipe, but I’m sure they’d be good. One of my other most favorite cookies, are these ones. They’re also a meltaway style cookie and have a little more cornstarch (and frosting too!) I’ve made that recipe in both lemon and orange and they’re fantastic.

      1. Found this recipe on page 121 of Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook. She says “other citrus juices and zests can be substituted for the lime juice and zest”. What is the yield? I’ve seen everything from 3 dozen to 5 dozen cookies. That’s quite a difference. How many do you get out of this recipe?

  1. Oh thank you!! Thank you!! These are my favorite kind of cookie and I have never made them…I can’t wait to bake them…this is the only way you could get me to turn on my oven in this weather. 🙂

    1. Yeah that would probably work. Normally I’d advice against using anything but real butter- especially in a cookie like this where it’s one of only a few ingredients. But in the case of an allergy- I think they’d probably turn out fine, and Diego probably doesn’t care at all about the taste of real butter, so I say try it out!

  2. Thanks for the tip that this cookie is good to be sent through the mail. I like to find cookies that I can bake and send to my grandmother and this might be next on the list. I wouldn’t have thought the powdered sugar would lend itself to packaging and sending? Doesn’t it get gummy and sticky after a bit? Maybe I’ll make some with and some without the extra sugar and see what happens. Thanks!

    1. What a lucky grandmother! They should be just fine if packaged well. I would still dust them in powdered sugar (they need the sweetness) but you don’t need to go as heavy as they are in my photo.

  3. Yeah……I’ve had that horrible coughing fit when inhaling the powdered sugar! Oy! Not fun! It will ruin (ok, put a damper on) the whole cookie-munching event! Good tip!

    These look great, too! Can’t wait to try them!

  4. Thank you Sara!!! This cookie is exactly what I was looking for for a pool party I’m having this weekend! These cookies will be perfect for having with margaritas and laying out in the pool! The make ahead to bake later option will be a great time-saver that morning. As always, you’ve provided another fantastic recipe!

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