Meltaways were one of the first cookies I made when I began my professional baking career. Just like my former pastry chef Celeste Zecola who gave me the recipe, it's one of my all-time favorites. I've made them in a variety of shapes and flavors, at every restaurant I've worked since.
They're incredibly easy to make and their delicate, crumbly texture makes them terribly addictive. The only catch? The recipe requires a stand mixer to cream the dough to a very light, airy consistency. (I've tried it by hand, and it takes a great deal of time with inferior results.) In this version, I made them with lime zest. But if you'd prefer another flavor—like lemon, vanilla bean or even black pepper—go for it. This dough is as versatile as it gets!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Zest of 2 limes, finely-grated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, powered sugar, lime zest and vanilla extract, on medium-high speed, for five minutes.
Reduce the speed of the mixer, and slowly add the flour and salt. Return the mixer speed back to medium-high and continue to cream the mixture for another five minutes.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice. (I used an Ateco round tip, size 804).
Pipe the dough into 1 1/2" rounds (or any other shape you might prefer), about a 1/2" apart.
Bake until edges are light golden and cookie dough is dry to the touch—approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature on the sheet trays used for baking. Once cool, gently transfer to a serving dish or store in an airtight container for a day or two.