Orange Meltaway Cookies

These little buttery cookies look unassuming. They lack the sprinkles, fancy design, and shape of many cookies. But here’s the thing: the flavor will blow you away. I make these round little buttons for my New Year’s Eve celebration each year. They are packed with orange flavor, and are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of champagne.

You have two options for rolling the cookies in sugar: normally, I roll them in powdered sugar right when they come off the baking sheet. The warmth of the cookie will help some powdered sugar soak into the cookie, plus give it a pretty coating, too. But, this year, I chose to roll them in granulated sugar because I liked the little bit of sparkle next to a champagne glass. Now I can’t decide if I like the cookies better with powdered or regular sugar! I’m a bit addicted to the crunch of regular sugar.

While I used orange zest for these cookies, you can flavor them any which way you want—lemon, lime, grapefruit—they’re all welcome here. If you want to forgo the citrus and use vanilla instead, they’re great that way. One year I used peppermint extract and dipped them alternately in white chocolate and dark chocolate. I sprinkled crushed candy canes on some, not on others. It didn’t matter—the plate was empty before midnight.

These cookies need to be in your arsenal. With a name like meltaway, I can attest that yes, they do melt in your mouth.

Like always, my recipes make a small batch. Here, we only have 1 dozen cookies. But because theses cookies lack eggs (or anything else hard to double or halve), they are easily scaled up to your New Year’s celebration. Or, any party for that matter!

I wish you many cookies in the New Year!

Prep:  45 minutes
Cook:  13 minutes
Serves:  1 dozen 2-inch cookies
Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Zest of 1 whole orange

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest and orange juice, and then beat until combined.

Sprinkle the flour, cornstarch and pinch of salt on top of the dough. Beat until just combined.

Place the dough on a piece of wax or parchment paper, and, using your hands, roll the dough into a 12” round rope with a 1” diameter. Twist the ends closed and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months).

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and slice into 1” coins. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, sprinkle generously with the graduated sugar.

Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes, until fragrant and the tops of the cookies are dry. The cookies should not brown.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, and then move to cooling rack to cool completely.