Cookie Showdown: Melting Moments

We're all gearing up for holiday cookie exchanges, so why not make a competition out of it?! Here at Chow Bella, we put our best recipes up against each other in the Cookie Showdown. Today's contender: Hannah Williams' Melting Moments. Stay tuned this week and next for all the competitors' recipes.

Holiday cookie platters are a staple at our family gatherings come December: Sugar cookie cutouts, Russian teacakes, peanut butter blossoms, fudge, buckeyes, holiday wreaths, and the simplistic wonder that is Melting Moments.

Our grandmother's melting moments recipe is coveted and so highly protected that even she can't find it anymore. For our Cookie Showdown we whipped up melting moments based on our collective family memory of the keepsake recipe.

(Recipe after the jump...)

Melting Moments
Yield: 2-3 Dozen

1 cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops green food coloring (or other color of your choosing)
2-3 Tbsp water, as needed


Make the dough
- Set the butter out to warm while you mix together the cornstarch and powdered sugar with a fork in a bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the room-temperature butter at a low speed until creamy. Caution: Do not try to mix the butter until it has softened... it will only clog up your beaters.
- Slowly add the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture to the creamed butter. Folding it in with a spatula first will prevent a white dust cloud from filling your kitchen. Then turn the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffly.
- Fold in the flour with a spatula, and if you're impatient like us, turn on the mixer again for one last quick spin.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour. Note: If you plan ahead and make the dough the day before, let it chill overnight and warm for an hour before baking, and if you're running behind, stick it in the freezer for no more than 15-30 minutes.

Bake the cookies
- Roll the dough into teaspoon-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Lightly press a thumbprint into the top of each cookie, so your icing doesn't slide off later.
- Bake at 350˚F for no more than 10 minutes, removing the cookies when finished but before they start to brown. Allow cookies to cool.

And decorate the finished product
- While cookies are cooling, prepare your icing by mixing the powdered sugar, vanilla, food coloring and water as needed in a small bowl to form a paste. Hint: Start with less water, you can always add more. If the icing gets too soupy, add more powdered sugar.
- Drizzle icing into the thumbprint on each cookie, being careful not to add too much or it will spill over the sides. Dust with coarse sugar or edible glitter for a festive touch.
- Let set up for at least half an hour and enjoy!

These little delights should melt in your mouth, hence the name, but ours came out a little large and therefore crumbly. We'd pay more attention and roll smaller dough balls next time.

We have to admit, ours are not as good as grandma's, but they're still pretty darn addictive. Get these melting moments to the cookie swap pronto, before you have a holiday meltdown and inhale a few dozen.

Whose cookies will triumph? Check back later this month for food critic Michele Laudig's pick for the cookies that'll disappear the fastest at your next exchange.


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Hannah E Williams